BMW could be applying change in the naming convention of its vehicle models in order to better identify its fully electric models, according to Australian website Drive.
The site cites a BMW insider who goes by the screen name ‘ynguldyn’, who says that the German manufacturer will soon be dropping the ‘i’ suffix from its models’ badges, which has historically denoted the presence of petrol engine, specifically, its injection system for petrol. Conversely, a ‘d’ suffix indicated the use of a diesel powerplant.
In reference to upcoming models, ‘ynguldyn’ claimed on the Bimmerpost forum that the successor to the 118i hatchback will be named 118, and the M Performance variant, the M135i will subsequently become the M135. There is a disclaimer of sorts, saying that “it remains to be seen if the same is going to happen with all future models.”
In March, the German marque was reported to have registered 48 trademarks for upcoming model names, according to CarBuzz, and the new nameplates feature i, X and iX prefixes. In terms of denoting type of powertrain, the i prefix will indicate models with a fully electric powertrain, and those without will continue to feature combustion engines, such as with the examples listed above.
For example, where the future combustion-engined models will dispense with the i suffix, EV models will get the i prefix to denote their use of electric powertrains, such as with the i120 denoting an electric 2 Series, i330 being an EV 3 Series, i550 an electric 5 Series, and so on.
By extension, electric SUV models will be identified by their iX prefix, such as an iX540 being an electric X5, an iX550 being a higher-output version of said model, and so on, the report claims.
One outlier in the present-day BMW model line-up, by this logic, is the iX electric SUV. At present, different variants within the iX range are denoted by their suffixes, beginning with the xDrive40, or the xDrive60 as the top performance iX. How the iX would be positioned in the future BMW range remains to be seen.