In January, German outlets reported Mercedes-Benz will give up the recently inaugurated EQS naming scheme for battery-electric cars. The automaker doesn’t plan to release new ICE vehicles after 2025, making the differentiation unnecessary in a few years. Earlier this month, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann explained to AutoBild that Audi would revamp its vehicle naming scheme to give ICE vehicles odd numbers, EVs getting even numbers. CarBuzz says the last of the German Big Luxury Three might be about to throw its marker onto the naming table. BMW filed more than 40 applications to trademark names for vehicles from the i118 to the iX760 and an M350.
The 48 trademark applications CarBuzz pulled up combine four letter- or number-defined categories, names starting with either “i,” “X,” “iX,” or “M,” followed by a number. It’s possible the “i” represents electric cars as in the i7, “X” represents crossovers and SAVs, “iX” therefore represents an electric SAV such as the one currently on the market, and “M” stands for you-know-who. The number would define a car’s place in the output hierarchy.
Of course, the full list leaves us with two large unknowns. The first is whether these trademarked alphanumerics would form entire model names or merely the roots of model names. The present BMW lexicon includes suffixes like “d,” “i,” “e,” “sDrive,” “xDrive,” and “MPerformance.” There’s no reason the potentially tidy iX560 wouldn’t turn into iX560 xDrive come production time. The second is whether the non-electrics would bear the same trim steps. The production X5 range in the States comprises the X5 s- and xDrive40i, X5 xDrive50e, X5 M60i, and X5 M Competition. Those first three might be tied to the trademark list as the future X540, X550, and X560. But then would the iX540, iX550, and iX560 simply be the electric versions of the trio?
We probably won’t have to wait too long to find out. With the bread-and-butter 5 Series entering a new generation soon, it’s possible a new scheme comes with it. Also, let’s remember that nothing might come of this — automakers constantly file trademark applications all over the world. However, maybe something should come of this. BMW names have gotten, like some German words, uncomfortably long and packed with detailed information you can understand only if you know the language.