A couple of months ago, BMW filed a few different trademarks with the European trademark office, which indicated a switch to a simpler nomenclature than it currently uses. Rather than the "X3 xDrive30i" or "iX eDrive50" nonsense you see on current Bimmers, upcoming cars will get names like X330 or iX330, making it far easier to differentiate electric BMWs from combustion ones. According to another new trademark filed with the German patent and trademark office via CarBuzz, upcoming BMW M cars could be even simpler, as the Bavarians recently filed for the "iM3" name.
Such a name suggests that the first electric M car to launch will be an electric version of the BMW M3. The prefix will be necessary, at least to start, because it seems as though BMW plans on the current inline-six-powered M3 and Neue Klasse-based iM3 coexisting for a period, according to comments BMW board member Frank Weber made to Autocar in September. It'll be interesting to see if BMW jettisons the "i" when the ICE-powered version eventually departs, though hopefully we won't have to worry about that until well into the next decade.
According to BMWBlog, this upcoming BMW iM3 will run under the chassis code ZA0 and will pack around 700 horsepower from a quad-motor setup. There's even said to be a BMW iM3 wagon in the works, with chassis code ZA1, though that's doubtful to make its way to us Americans.
BMW is tightening up its naming system with the upcoming Neue Klasse electric chassis, which is good to see. The beloved BMWs of yesteryear mostly had sensible names, consisting of a series of numbers that clearly denoted the cars' sizes and engines. While its Neue Klasse naming structure won't be quite as simple as those older names, it's heading back in the right direction. And it doesn't really get simpler than "BMW iM3." At least we can be sure it won't get an unnecessary "Competition" suffix.
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