How much will it cost? When will it debut? Read on.
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car may have officially been discontinued, but the German automaker has a successor in the works. And it will be a far more powerful dynamic vehicle than its predecessor in every possible way. Car and Driver has a new report claiming several exciting developments including a potential launch date.
First off, an official name has yet to be decided. A running title is i8 M, though we're not entirely sure BMW will go with that. As far as styling goes, last year's Vision M Next concept, whose retro design was directly inspired by the iconic M1, was an early preview of what we can expect to see. Like usual when going from concept to production, the final look will be toned down but the overall shape and design direction will remain. We doubt anyone will complain.
Like the i8, the new supercar will continue with the plug-in hybrid powertrain instead of going all-electric. It'll supposedly feature an electrified front axle paired to a turbocharged gasoline engine while an electric motor will drive the rear wheels. However, BMW will drop the i8's inline-three in favor of an inline-four. All told, we're looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of a combined 600 horsepower.
The battery will obviously be more powerful and capable of taking the vehicle at least 60 miles on pure electric power between charges. To compare, the i8 only had an EPA-rated 15 miles of all-electric range.
Being lightweight will also remain critical and despite BMW selling its Washington state carbon-fiber production facility, the new supercar will still incorporate plenty of the lightweight material. In fact, the i8's carbon-fiber tub will receive a significant overhaul instead of designing something new from scratch. Other lightweight metals such as aluminum will also be incorporated into the build.
As far as pricing goes, a decent guess will be around $160,000, or roughly the price of the i8 Roadster. BMW is in no immediate rush to get its new PHEV supercar to market so don't expect it to arrive until 2023, at the earliest.