By on July 11, 2014

3series_f30_1025x475_exterior_11

A handful of BMW 3 and 4 series models will receive new designations to go with their new engines when they arrive in U.S. showrooms beginning in 2016.

An ongoing forum post on Bimmerpost reports the following for the F3x models:

  • 4-cylinder B58 will have the 330i/430i designation, instead of 328i/428i
  • 6-cylinder B58 will use the 340i/440i designation, instead of 335i/435i
  • F30 PHEV will be dubbed the 330e, instead of 328e

The list continues to update, and has info only on U.S.-bound models.

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76 Comments on “BMW 3, 4 Series To Get New Designations With New Engines...”


  • avatar

    Flooding the market with different models and confusing names while still making people pay top dollar to be seen in a “BMW” with no V8 and often times no real leather…

    BRILLIANT!

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      “Top dollar”? Have you priced out a BMW lately? You can practically buy one on a Fiatsler budget.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Not everyone wants to drive a 4000+ lb car with a cast-iron pushrod engine.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Too true – better to buy a blinged out Chrysler for BMW money.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @BTS: If you think that cylinder count is a measure of vehicle value then that explains a lot.

      • 0 avatar

        The FASTEST, MOST POWERFUL, Production car in the world is the Bugatti Veyron SS with a W16 engine.

        Drop down to the other “fastest” cars and you find Lamborghinis with V12 engines.

        That says a lot.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          Actually…no.

          A buddy at work has a 6.1 Challenger with the 5 sped auto and is slightly slower at the drag-strip than an F30 335 family sedan. The 3 series also gets 20 MPG in town and 30+ on the highway and leaves the SRT even further behind at the first corner.

          But I see your attraction to the Veyron – its also overpriced and overweight.

        • 0 avatar
          dartman

          @BTSR…

          Yes it does say a lot about the lunacy of good Deutschlander engineering. Take several pallets of leftover VW VR6 engines, slice , dice and weld ‘em up until you come up with 16 cylinders , throw in 4 turbochargers for good measure, then call in the Francophiles for some tires That won’t come apart at 250mph, then give it to the aero department so it doesn’t become airborne. Price it at millions of dollars and voila! — you get rich men with compensation issues to buy it, and wannabe’s on internet blogs to rave about it.

          Meh…big deal…Don Garlits and the boys in the NHRA took 1950′s era technology (real Hemi’s). Bolted on a supercharger designed for a diesel (6-71). Using home built chassis’ theyscrewed the tires to the rims , fueled ‘em with liquid dynamite to make 8500 to 10000 hp, by 1992 they were doing over 300mph..( in 1/4 mile)….with only 8 cylinders…

          • 0 avatar

            “Yes it does say a lot about the lunacy of good Deutschlander engineering. Take several pallets of leftover VW VR6 engines, slice , dice and weld ‘em up until you come up with 16 cylinders , throw in 4 turbochargers for good measure…”

            Technology is about pushing the limits. I always wondered if I could build a project car: WORLD’S FASTEST HYUNDAI SONATA with a supercharged or twin turbocharged W8 engine.

            I did research and realized that the W8 was already tried by VW in a Passat.

            For someone to even try that and spend money on it is noteworthy.

            If you want to see LUNACY, wait until I install a 440 Stroker with a Supercharger on one of these SRT cars.

            I will give you blackened roads.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Dragsters are fun and all, but personally I prefer engines that last longer than 5 seconds between rebuilds.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            @Dartman,
            We have about the same attitude towards the Veyron. There’s really not much to it, it’s fairly conventional, and has been build by throwing tons of money and VAG leftovers at it, until it worked.
            And it’s still barely faster (in the ‘Super Sport’ version) than the Lingenfelter/-Callaway Sledgehammer from 1988, that had half as many cylinders and turbos.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Are BMW owners really this fragile with their egos?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I’ll pay more so that people who haven’t paid attention to BMW in 10 years will think I got the “good” 3-series with my new 330i.

      • 0 avatar
        Jason Lombard

        I’m not sure how this news equates to having fragile egos. BMW owners just found out about this and are going to have to roll with it. This is the gospel as determined by Munich.

        But let’s be honest, 330 is two better than 328. (trying really hard not to make a ‘this amp goes to 11′ reference)

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          To be fair, automakers rarely make decisions about model names without having some solid market research behind it. There was probably some pretty serious backlash about calling the 3 series the 320ti especially since they rolled out two different power levels on that 2.0T. How would you differentiate between the low power (current 320i) and high power version (current 328i)? 320ti and 320tis?

          I wonder how well received the Lexus turbo naming will be. NX200t and IS200t share the same “number” with the CT200h… and have around 100 more HP.

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    Once they made the decision to have model names bear no relation to engine capacity, the game was up. Doing it to greater extremes (bigger numbers all round!) just confirms it as nonsense.

    I’m looking forward to 2018′s 1.5 Litre 350i with bated breath.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyP

      So in the early to mid 80s?

      MB has been guilty of it for a while also. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what numerical jargon they use, they’ll get leased like hotcakes since they have the spinny blue and white emblem on the hood. BMW enthusiast will flock to the 2-series (as a true 3 series successor) and Ms, all while bitching about the number system. I believe it’s ridiculous also, and this is coming from someone who has an M4 on order.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Why stop at 340i? Just make it into a 350i so there is no need to tweak names for a while.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      So that the next generation can be the 345 and 350 after that. That way a current 340 owner can feel very inadequate about him/herself and have to go buy the new one.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I am surprised they didn’t just change them to 3Gazillion and 3GazilBazillion. And updated the math books to make their owners feel better about themselves.

    How insipidly stupid. It’s not like a 320tii is a bad designation, nor is it like their 2.0 turbo is something to be embarrassed about.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    As maddening as the sheer number of different BMW model names can be, this kind of makes sense for what is BMW’s biggest US volume lines.

    1. The 320 stays the same. No loss, since it is the basest of base 3-series and I’m guessing lower margin.
    2. The 328 is now a 330, and the 335 is now a 340. Bigger number = perceived to be better = customers willing to spend more on basically the same car.
    3. The even spacing between model numbers makes it easier to distinguish one model from another. Very similar to the MB C-class models 250, 300, 350.

    Now, I wonder if this will continue into the other series? Will the 528 become the 530? Is the new designation only for models receiving the new B48/B58 engines?

  • avatar
    koshchei

    New BMWs should integrate bluetooth and LCD technology into their branding, so that when they come into proximity with an older BMW with a higher number, the car increments its own number to be one higher, which immediately updates itself on the trunk-lid.

    Equal BMWs of the same year can fight over the letter at the end, based on which car is ahead of the other in traffic. Cars earning the prized-verging-on-legendary Z letter will have the car’s messaging system give them positive affirmation messages like “You’re the best driver in the world” and “Weaving dangerously through traffic like a coked-up sociopath makes other drivers envy and respect you”.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I thought they’d get real names, not more of the same alpha-numeric stuff.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Yawn. Once upon a time BMW meant something.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    I am surprised they didn’t use Jack’s idea of just putting the MSRP on the badge.

  • avatar
    JRobUSC

    The power outputs are changing, hence the numerical changes. I know all the “BMW purists” out there are waxing nostalgic that the numbers have to be the engine displacement, but that’s revisionist history in the first place, since that was never actually a steadfast numbering scheme. The purpose of the numbers are to show where the power outputs relate to other BMW models.

    340 > 335 > 330 > 328 > 320

    It’s not rocket science. If you can figure out Mercedes, you shouldn’t have any problem with BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      It never was? 1600, 1800, 2000, 2500, 3000, 1602, 1802, 2002 were all based on displacement. So were the original 316, 318, 320 etc.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        There has been no consistent link between displacement and the number on the back since the e21 320i got a 1.8L motor in ~1981. It wasn;t even consistent between models with the same engine – the e30 325e and e28 528e both had the very same 2.7l engine. So ancient history, please get over yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      How does the power output of the B48/58 compare to the N20 and N55? I thought they were very similar.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      What? Did someone actually decode the Mercedes badging ? I guess they need to fire their cryptographer…

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Boy, the BMW fan-boys really don’t have as sense of humor when you go after their “ultimate poser machines” like this.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    I have a 2001 E46. Perhaps the last of the honestly named bimmers. In the end, when a decently equipped 4 series ‘grand coupe’ with x drive and the big six is almost sixty and a 335 x drive is well north of 50 the market may well correct.

    I have high hopes for Caddy doing more development on the CTS, but will not be surprised if it never fulfills it’s promise.

    OTOH Ford and Lexus – a nice Fusion with a Lincoln badge for 46 – some R&D and it should be nice.

    An IS 350 with F sport and Toyota fuel injection with both port and direct fuel injection eliminating the carbon build up that BMW direct injection can not avoid for 50.

    And the Lexus wouldn’t break either.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    Dropping the 328/428 designation for 330/430? Someone in marketing obviously doesn’t understand how superstitious the Chinese are about the last number on things (car models, phone numbers, apartment floors, etc). 8 = wealth, 4 = death, so at least they didn’t go to 334/434 and Porsche definitely can’t revive the 944.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      They probably expect to educate the chinese in the error of their thinking, just as they continue to educate their US customers about the error of desiring functional cup holders.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      Given how much of their income comes from China these days, I was taken aback at the intro of their 4-series.

      This is like the Chevy “Nova” thing, but potentially x1000.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris FOM

      I know, right? You’d think they’d have learned from Ausi after the A4 completely tanked in China and didn’t sell for…oh, wait. The A4 is a huge success in China. Well never mind then.

      Oh, and the whole Nova-Spanish thing? False as well.

      http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.asp

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, it’s good to see BMW cleared all that up.

    Now they have to work on the 2 series, carefully integrating the model numbers so that there’s no confusion between RWD and the new FWD models, which are actually 3 cylinder MINIs in BMW disguise.

    I can hardly wait.

  • avatar
    mike978

    This does make sense. The 328 was more powerful than the previous 325, and now the new 4 cylinder will be more powerful than the 328 so 330 is logical. The numbers give you an indication of relative power : 325<328<330<335<340


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