When it comes to BMW’s i8, no one can argue that it is a stylish looking hybrid. However, new reports suggest that the stunning look i8 could go all-electric. Currently, BMW i8 uses turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder internal combustion engine along with electric motor supported by 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The decision to opt for electric for successor i8 is reported on Autonews that stated that BMW executives are leaning towards it. At this point of time, details regarding the same are limited but sources close the developments said to the publication that it could give them a “tangible link” to tehri effort to Formula E.
This is not a drastic step considering it could serve as a halo model for the upcoming slate of electric models. If the news turns out to be true and BMW i8 arrives as electric then it would be an all-wheel drive system. It could be based on the BMW iNEXT. The BMW i8 is said to use all new electric motor developed in-house which offers “significantly higher rotational speeds” than the current unit that is used on the i8. Even though BMW is working on solid state batteries, it won’t be ready when the production ready version arrives in the year 2023. Thus, lithium-ion batteries will be used on i8.
Regardless, whatever is stated all these are just rumours with no substantial claim from the Bavarian automaker. We could even see the successor with plug-in hybrid. Several reports suggest that there are number of advantages to this strategy because of the existing platform can be upgraded economically. BMW could also increase the performance by swapping three-cylinder engine for a more powerful four- or six-cylinder unit. If this turns out to be true, then the output would be in region of around 600hp. We will get to know more about it later this month.