But in the end it wasn't meant to be.
BMW’s all-new high-performance plug-in hybrid, the i8, may not have an engine like some of its iconic Bavarian ancestors. Powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that has 231 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque as well as an electric motor that provides an additional 131 hp and 184 lb-ft, many brand loyalists are simply not impressed with this setup. It’s certainly new territory for BMW, but a new report is stating that engineers at one point considered using a V10 instead.
It’s further claimed that a V12 was never going to happen, but the V10 idea was dropped once BMW opted to make the i8 a hybrid instead of a traditional gasoline-engined machine. V8 and six-cylinder engines were also possible, but they too were out of the picture when the i8’s plug-in hybrid future was sealed. Sources claim the latter two were eliminated partly due to cooling issues. But it’s interesting that BMW’s now production ready high-tech and efficient 21st century sports car started off on paper as something different entirely.