But the car was never put into production.
During a recent trip to Germany to drive the new Alpina B7, several journalists had the chance to sit down with Alpina boss Andreas Bovensiepen and discuss future products like the upcoming B8 Gran Coupe. An Alpina version of the 8 Series Gran Coupe has the potential for greatness but speaking to BMW Blog, Bovensiepen revealed Alpina previously worked on another awesome model that never saw the light of day. The timeline is still a bit murky but earlier in the BMW i8 Coupe's lifecycle, Alpina experimented with building its own faster version. Sadly, the car was never greenlit for production.
Alpina wanted to use the i8 as a test bed to improve power and handling with a number of aerodynamic upgrades. Increasing the power involved replacing the i8's three-cylinder engine with a larger 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit, which also required making cuts to the car's aluminum rear subframe. With the larger engine in place, the i8 jumped from 360 hp to 460 hp while retaining a nice weight balance.
The BMW i8 has been on sale since 2014 so the time for a faster Alpina version has come and gone. BMW will sooner replace the car rather than build a faster version using the current architecture. It has been greatly hinted the recently-revealed M Next Concept will act as the 600 horsepower replacement for the current i8, though it likely like be a few years before it reaches production.
Bovensiepen even has a few pictures of the project on his phone, a black i8 with the signature Alpina wheels. Sadly, he was not able to share the photos of the only Alpina i8 ever built. BMW likely killed the project because the i brand is all about sustainability - shoving in a bigger engine with a giant rear wing would have likely gone against the brand image. It is too bad Alpina never released its version of the i8 but the successor should improve upon the old car's performance.