We learned a few months ago that BMW was planning on naming it’s front wheel drive BMWs 2 Series. WTF you ask? According to Top Gear there’s some sort of bizarre logic responsible.

This spring, BMW unveils another 2-series. You know the 2-series. The carmaker’s kicked things off with the 2-series Coupe, which is a two-door variant of the 1-series. So you might imagine that the next 2-series is the convertible.

No it’s not. It’s the 2-series Active Tourer. Huh? You might remember the Active Tourer concept. It’s BMW’s first front-drive car, and a close competitor for the Mercedes-Benz B-class. So why’s it called 2-series?

(BMW) now says the 2-series Active Tourer deserves to be a 2-series because it’s bigger than the 1-series, and will be more expensive.

But there’s another reason. I suggested to a senior BMW manager that to save confusion with the rear-drive coupes, they ought to call it something like the T1 (in the same way they have i3 and X5 and M4).

Of course BMW did consider naming the car something else – creating an entirely new line of cars basically. But there was an issue.

…(BMW) checked out every single letter of the alphabet. And hit a brick wall. All nameplates with a letter-number combination were, they found, already trademarked by other manufacturers – either car makers or others whose sphere overlaps.

Well, all except one. Y. And they decided (probably wisely) that calling a car the BMW Y1 was just too open to innuendo. So 2-series it is…