BMW has trademarked a long list of model names that indicate the automaker is planning a big push into the plug-in electric SUV segment.
This isn't a big surprise given the brand's September reveal of the X7 iPerformance concept, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) utility with three rows of seating. But according to the U.K.'s Autocar, the list of nine model designations points to the possibility of a range of electric utilities small and large to fit into a variety of vehicle segments and global markets.
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A production version of the X7 iPerformance would wear the newly trademarked iX7 badge, the "i" being a reference to the electrified vehicle sub-brand that is home to BMW's current i3 and i8 models. Other names on the list of recent trademarks include iX1, iX2, iX3, iX4, iX5, iX6, iX8 and iX9.
What remains unclear is whether these future electrics would be based on existing BMW models (X3, X4 and X5, for example) or be applied to all-new designs. As of this writing, BMW has confirmed just one all-electric SUV, a plug-in version of the compact X3, but Autocar cites details revealed by BMW's R&D boss Klaus Frolich that suggest BMW is working on two new platforms that could form the basis of future electrics.
We aren't certain BMW actually plans to use all of those newly minted names; three years before it launched the i3 and i8, the company secured a total of 18 alphanumeric "i" and "E" names in a clear bid to keep its future options open.