But what about the i8 and new 8 Series?
According to Autocar, BMW is already working on its next post-i8 project. But unlike the i8, which is not a supercar, this unnamed vehicle will serve as a direct competitor to the likes of the McLaren 570S and even the Acura NSX. Furthermore, it’ll incorporate all of the German automaker’s latest advancements in electrification, lightweight components, and other exotic materials.
Klaus Frohlich, the BMW board member who’s in charge of product development, told Autocar that "If you are an engineer, once in your life, you want to make a super-sports car. I think partial electrification will enable that.”
Although the vehicle would not serve as a direct i8 successor, it will in many ways pick up where the i8 leaves off, such as an improved carbon fiber chassis and compact and powerful electric driving units. "If you look at the supercars – the McLarens, the Ferraris – beyond 2020, they will be all partially electric,” Frohlich added. "And if you look at power plug-in hybrids we are planning for today, an electric motor in our PHEVs has a little bit more than 99 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.”
One thing is certain at this point: the new car won’t be a pure electric and will still rely on an internal combustion engine. However, it will presumably be larger and more powerful than the i8’s three-cylinder engine. We wouldn’t be surprised if BMW went with a six-cylinder unit, possibly turbocharged.
Combined with an electric motor, total output will far exceed that of the i8’s not so impressive 369 hp. Put it this way, if the upcoming M8 is projected to have around 620 hp, this next BMW will be closer to 1,000 hp. And speaking of the M8 and new 8 Series lineup in general, BMW will position its new supercar as a halo car instead of a grand tourer, thus preventing any internal competition. Assuming BMW proceeds with the plan, don’t expect to see this new supercar until 2023, at the earliest.