Big change coming to BMW model badges – UPDATE
After decades of adding an ‘i’ to the end of its nomenclature, BMW could be about to flip the script.
UPDATE, 4 June 2023: A BMW insider who has previously given details on the company’s new naming conventions has now revealed what’s in store for its SUVs.
According to ‘ynguldyn’, BMW will soon drop the ‘i’ from its petrol SUV nomenclature, falling in line with the rest of its passenger range which are said to be dropping ‘i’ from the end of their badges.
Instead of the X3 xDrive20i, for example, the petrol-powered variant of the new-generation SUV could be known as the X3 20 xDrive.
The variant names are also said to be rejigged to reflect BMW’s electric-car range, so the performance version will be known as the X3 M50 xDrive – in the same way the electric 4 Series sedan is badged as the i4 M50 xDrive.
Diesels will continue to use the ‘d’, but will also be changed to the new format – for example, the range-topping diesel model may be known as the BMW X3 40d xDrive.
The original story continues below.
18 May 2023: BMW could be about to make a change to the way it names its models to create more space for its electric cars.
According to an insider who goes by the name of ‘ynguldyn’ – who is known for revealing future BMW model plans – says the car-maker will soon drop the ‘i’ from the end of badge names given to its petrol-powered models.
BMW introduced the ‘i’ to its model names in the 1970s to differentiate between those using carburettors and those with fuel injection. The latter soon became the norm for BMW vehicles.
In a new BimmerPost forum post, ‘ynguldyn’ says the new-generation 118i hatchback is due to become the 118, while the sporty M135i will change to M135.
However, they added: “It remains to be seen if the same is going to happen with all future models. Watch this space.”
The news comes just weeks after it was revealed BMW had trademarked 43 new model names, in which the ‘i’ had been moved to the start of the badge.
Despite ‘i’ originally standing for fuel injection, ‘BMW i’ branding now represents the company’s electric line-up.
This means the petrol-powered 118 could be sold alongside the battery-powered i120 in the coming years.