BMW is reportedly working on a more powerful version of its first plug-in hybrid supercar, the BMW i8. The standard i8’s plug-in hybrid powertrain produces 362 hp and 570 Nm of torque, allowing the car to reach 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and hit a top speed (electronically limited) of 250 km/h.
Citing undisclosed sources, an Auto Express report says that the engineers working on the company’s ‘i’ sub-brand models are enthusiastic to show what the i8’s plug-in hybrid system and lightweight carbon fibre structure together are capable of. They claim that the plug-in hybrid system can be tuned to produce up to 300 bhp more on this model. Such a massive power bump is not expected though, as that would prove costly to its efficiency – which the ‘i’ sub-brand models stand for.
In the current setup, the eDrive propulsion system consists a BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine that produces 231 hp and up to 320 Nm of torque, and an electric motor that generates 96 kW (131 hp) and 250 Nm of torque. According to the report, the company targets to make the i8 capable of doing a 0-100 km/h run in under four seconds. The more powerful i8’s electric motor will remain as it is and the combustion engine will be upgraded. The larger engine’s weight addition will be counteracted with unpainted carbon fibre body panels and possibly ditching the rear seats.
The high-performance i8 could be launched as early as next year, without the traditional ‘M’ badge though, as per the report.
[Source: Auto Express]