BMW's new flagship is finally taking shape.
OK, so we got the name wrong, but we reported back in July that BMW was working on something special to mark its 100th anniversary in 2016, while just last month we confirmed the centennial birthday gift would come in the form of a 500-hp variant of the i8. Automobile magazine is now claiming the special edition supercar, currently codenamed M100, will be badged i8S. Using the basic construction of the i8, the i8S will come with a more aggressive, dynamic body, more luggage space at the expense of the rear seats, and lots more carbon fiber.
The flagship coupe will also receive a reworked suspension, wider tires, better brakes, and a gas-electric powerplant delivering 500 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Two different engine configurations are currently under evaluation: a 320-hp 2.0-liter twin-turbo four coupled with a 204-hp electric motor, and a 480-hp 3.0-liter straight six paired with a 109-hp electric unit. Both would come mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch and a rear-mounted integrated starter generator developing an additional 27 horses. Despite being heavier than the i8, the 150 hp of additional power will enable the i8S to hit 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, down from 4.1. If all goes to plan, the BMW i8S will be unveiled in 2016 and launch in the US late 2017 priced at around $175,000.