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Wednesday / 19 June 2024
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A big change is coming to BMW’s badges

BMW will be dropping the “i” from the badges of its petrol-powered models in the future as it shifts focus to new-energy vehicles (NEV).

For over 50 years, the “i” in BMW nomenclature stood for “injection” and referred to vehicles with petrol engines featuring fuel-injection technology. It was first introduced in the 1970s to differentiate cars with carburettors from those with the more advanced fuel-injection tech.

Going forward, however, the “i” will still be used by the German marque but rather for its electric rides such as the i7 and iX.

Bernd Körber, Senior Vice President of BMW Brand and Product Management, Connected Company, confirmed to BMWBlog the reason behind the alteration.

“Historically, even though our interpretation of BMW ‘i’ was always different, it’s more innovation, not necessarily only electric, and we historically had injection at the end [of the badge]. We said, we would like to keep ‘i’ as an asset, and we would like to keep it as a signature to indicate you’re driving an electric car, and that was the logic that we had.”

The BMW insider also confirmed that the company has no immediate plans to go over three numbers on the badges of its high-performance M cars.

At present, the naming structure of M cars denotes their output, for instance, the Z4 M40i is less powerful than the i4 M50 , and so forth.

When questioned if these figures will ever go as high as M80, M90, or even M100, Körber said: “Three digits is our threshold. So far, nothing in the plan that gets us close to that.”

The first domino to fall

The first vehicle on which the change will be made is the upcoming next-gen X3, unveiled in the coming weeks, where the top-spec M50 model will replace the outgoing M40i.

It is expected that the 1 Series hatchback and 2 Series Gran Coupe will adopt the naming scheme next as they are in line to be updated before the end of 2024.

The 7 Series should see a mid-life facelift around 2026 and will most likely also be dropping the “i” from its petrol models once it is refreshed.

After this, BMW will gradually apply the revised taxonomy to the entire range as their model cycles are renewed.

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