It all started with a report from UK’s Car Magazine. The British outlet reported last week that BMW will launch a new naming convention with the launch of their upcoming Neue Klasse cars in 2025. The report said that the initial addition to the Neue Klasse technology lineup, the X3 SUVs, is expected to adopt the names X320 and X330 for its traditional combustion versions. In contrast, the electric iX3 variants are likely to be labeled as iX330, iX340, and iX350.

CLAR vs. Neue Klasse Names

Photo by Christopher Cooper – G45 BMW X3

But there are a few things to consider. Allow us to explain them. Firstly, the new G45 BMW X3 will launch before the Neue Klasse-based iX3 electric crossover. The gas, diesel and hybrid G45 models will launch in summer 2024. And indeed, they will have some name changes. According to our own sources, these models will drop the “i” for the gasoline models which will simply become known as the “BMW X3 30”, “BMW X3 30 xDrive”, or the “BMW X3 M50 xDrive.” The diesels will be known as the “BMW X3 40d xDrive” while the PHEVs as the “BMW X3 30e xDrive.” Of course, there will be other global variants which we didn’t cover here.

BMW iX3 Neue Klasse

Secondly, we’ve also heard that the Neue Klasse iX3 names are not set in stone yet. The base name will indeed start with “iX3” but it’s unclear how will they develop from there. They could certainly follow the iX330, iX350 naming convention or they could stick to the iX3 30, iX3 50 badges. The bottom line is this in the end: BMW’s naming convention has become really complicated over the years, especially with the addition of electrified vehicles which carried the “i” in their name as well.

There is clearly an opportunity to fix that in the future, but there might be a transition period where you will have a different naming strategy for different platforms: CLAR vs. Neue Klasse. Of course, eventually all BMW cars will be built on Neue Klasse – all electric – which should simplify the naming convention once again. The G45 BMW X3 should give us a glimpse into the future naming convention next year, but for now we’re hearing things like the X3 M50 and X3 30 xDrive.

[Initial report by CAR Magazine]