We knew the BMW i8 Spyder was getting its public debut at the Beijing Motor Show this week because BMW told us. What we didn’t know is that BMW would be adding more confusing nomenclature to their eco i-brand.
There was a time when BMW’s car naming was straightforward. You had the series number followed by letters denoting engine size. And then you could add convertible or touring to suit. But, just like Mercedes, that’s all gone.
Now the numbers still denote the series but no longer the engine size; it’s more a rank than a detail. You’ve also got xDrive for 4WD cars and sDrive for those that aren’t (or those that are sporty, just to confuse the issue further). And now there’s a new one – BMW eDrive.
The i8 Spyder BMW has rolled out in Beijing gets the eDrive badge attached to its rump. BMW tell us the new badge denotes a plug-in model, be that a pure EV or a plug-in hybrid. So we’re presumably going to get model designations like BMW i8 eDrive50 Spyder or BMW i3 eDrive15 to give some clue as to what goes on under the skin.
But wasn’t that the point of the whole i-BMW thing, to denote a hybrid/plugin/EV? Do we really need another confusing moniker? Does anyone other than BMW refer to them?
It’s a BMW i8 Spyder. That’s enough.