BMW's Getting a 'New Logo' for Its Flagship Models

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw s getting a new logo for its flagship models

Interested in distinguishing its premium models from the rest of the flotsam and jetsam, BMW is launching a “new” black-and-white logo it will use to market its “flaggschiff” units around the globe. The updated look was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will be used for the 7 series and i8 coupe, as well as the forthcoming 8 series coupe, convertible, i8 roadster and X7 SUV.

Rumored to be similar to the cheesy carbon variant of the company’s emblem found in numerous aftermarket Ebay listings, the new logo is essentially the old one, only desaturated into monochrome with the company’s full name — Bayerische Motoren Werke — written out in its entirety. However, there seems to be some confusion as to how the new logo will be used and what its heritage actually entails.

“We have a strong history of 100 years, and we think that’s something we should use,” Hildegard Wortmann, senior vice president of brand BMW, told Automotive News. “It’s a new visual identity [that’s] more involving, more emotional.”

Several outlets have cited the black-and-white emblem as a throwback to an earlier era where BMW used its full name on its physical products. But there is precious little evidence on which to hang that claim. In fact, the company’s earliest motorized vehicles used rounded emblems with a gold monogram and the iconic blue and white logo. The same is true for its aircraft engines.

However, before it was BMW, the company existed as the short-lived Rapp Motorenwerke between 1913 and 1917. Rapp did use its full name on products and also had a completely black horse-head marquis. But it seems unlikely the modern-day brand would draw inspiration from its pre-World War I roots as a way to celebrate 100 years of existence.

Automotive News added some additional clarity against earlier reports from rival outlets, indicating the new luxury branding will be used only in the automaker’s communications activities. Dealerships won’t be required to update any signage or elements of their buildings, a spokesman said. That means you probably won’t be seeing any new badges on cars but plenty, though marketing materials will be emblazoned with BMW’s complete name in grayscale — despite claims to the contrary.

Still, it could certainly happen in the future. BMW is clearly trying to draw a line between the top of its model range and everything below, and this marketing swap is the first step on that mission. While the numeric designations help, Bayerische Motoren Werke may opt to further tweak the branding of its upper echelon. We may see those monochrome emblems affixed to a hood in subsequent years, which wouldn’t be the worst thing imaginable. But they’ll remain the same Bavarian blue and white for now.

[Image: BMW]

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3 of 21 comments
  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Sep 25, 2017

    "BMW is launching a “new” black-and-white logo it will use to market its “flaggschiff” units around the globe."

  • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Sep 26, 2017

    Most people assume BMW stands for Bavarian Motor Works, which is partially correct as Bayerische = Bavarian, but not officially correct. Some people, like my wife who had an E46 in high school, don't even know what it stands for at all. "I don't know, it's just a nice, cute little German car!". Some of my co-workers who have BMWs seem to be enthusiasts, so I will have to quiz them on what BMW stands for.

    • SPPPP SPPPP on Sep 27, 2017

      Your comment seems excessively pedantic. Tell me what BMW stands for if not Bavarian Motor Works? In English, please. :)

  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??