BMW’s electric lineup can be found under the “i” branding in its overall catalog, but it will need to make changes to prevent a complete mess with its SUV naming convention. The current X3 and X5 have long, alphanumeric names that include drive wheel and other information, and tacking another letter onto the end could create a real mess of confusion. To avoid that problem, the automaker is reportedly looking at a more straightforward naming system for electric models.
CarBuzz reported that the automaker filed a new application with the German patent and trademark office to trademark “iM3.” The name suggests that BMW could be looking at simply slapping an “i” on its model names to indicate electrification. It also hints that the automaker’s first electric M car will be the M3, though “M-ish” versions of its other electric cars are already available.
The new performance EV is expected to derive up to 700 horsepower from a four-motor electric drivetrain. We may also see a wagon variant in other countries, and BMW has all but promised other electrified performance vehicles, so we’ll likely see other similarly named models coming soon.
BMW’s i-lineup is growing, but it’s unclear what the automaker will do when its gas vehicles are eventually discontinued. There won’t be a need for the “I” designation, so we can only hope that the automaker’s upcoming shift to the “Neue Klasse” design language in the next few years brings a sensible naming structure with it.
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