BMW probably brings new naming with the “Neue Klasse” era

The electric cars based on the "Neue Klasse" are to usher in nothing less than a new era for BMW, as the board of management has recently emphasised. According to a media report, this upheaval is also likely to be accompanied by a new nomenclature for the model series and drive variants - also for the combustion engines.

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BMW will change the nomenclature of its models in the course of the planned introduction of the “Neue Klasse” electric cars from 2025. This is reported by the magazine “CAR” with reference to applications submitted by BMW to the EU trademark authorities and its own sources. According to the report, the new edition of the SUV model X3 will bear model names such as X320 and X330 as internal combustion engines and the electric variants will be distinguished from the internal combustion engines by a preceding “i”, i.e. in this case they will be called iX330, iX340 and iX350.

The same scheme is planned for BMW’s sedans and estate cars. The electric sedan, the BMW Vision Neue Klasse concept, with which BMW had provided a near-production preview at the IAA, is to be given designations such as i330 and i340 as a production model.

The designations sDrive, eDrive and xDrive, which have been necessary in some cases up to now, should thus no longer apply. These had in part designated the combustion engine rear-wheel drive, electric rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For example, a BMW X3 xDrive20d resulted in an X3 with all-wheel drive and a two-litre diesel engine. The i4 eDrive40 is an i4 with the 250 kW electric rear-wheel drive.

If the report in “Car Magazine” by Georg Kacher, a journalist who is often well-informed about BMW, is correct, the naming in future will probably be based more on the simpler designations of the core model series – a BMW 530d is a five-seater with a three-litre diesel engine. However, the i5 already uses the additional designation eDrive or xDrive. The familiar model series names such as the Three, Five and Seven as well as the now established SUV designations preceded by an X could therefore be continued and standardised for all drive types – without the sales department having to explain the differences between sDrive and eDrive to the customer.

It remains to be seen what will happen after the premiere of the electric Three/X3: Will BMW change the model designations of the current model series uniformly or will the update take place gradually with the next model update or new model generation? At the moment, only those responsible at BMW can clarify this – the magazine report does not contain any comment from the carmaker on the information.

BMW would not be alone in reorganising its model naming, however – numerous carmakers are currently adapting their nomenclature to unite the additional drive technologies with the familiar model range. At Mercedes, the EQ label is apparently on the brink of extinction for the future, and Audi has also given itself a new naming system for the electric future this year.


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