450 HP BMW i8 Rumored to Come Out Next Year. Hear Us Out!

BMW i8 on track 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
I know how ludicrous the thought of a 450 HP BMW i8 sounds like. I know! However, for the first time since we’ve been writing about a possible i8S or i9 or M8, things might actually turn out to be true.
A new report coming in from AutoExpress claims that BMW is working on an even more powerful version of the i8, one that would have around 450 HP to play with and still weight the same. Once again, I know it sounds too good to be true but bear with me.

Unlike other reports that were simply too phantasmagoric to take into account (V10 engines and even 3-liter inline 6s) this one does make sense. BMW is known to have been developing a new 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that would be good for around 300 HP.

We know that because they will soon want to launch M Performance versions of cars using the UKL platform and that won’t be possible with mills larger in size than the aforementioned 2-liter versions. That’s because, for the UKL platform, the powerplants are being mounted transversally instead of longitudinally. There simply isn’t enough room in there!

Therefore, if BMW ever wants an X1, future 1 Series or 2 Series MPV to have more than 231 HP, it will have to develop a new 2-liter engine that takes things further. That mill is probably in development right now, as we already told you.

It is this engine that could turn a sub 4-second i8 into reality. According to AutoExpress, this hardcore version they’re talking about would use it instead of the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder one that is powering the rear wheels on the current car.

This could actually work also because the difference between the two is not all that big in the first place. That would probably make the boot of the plug-in hybrid non-existent but even in its current guise, it wasn’t all that useful anyway.

Take this new 300 HP engine along with an electric motor upgraded from 131 HP to around 150 HP and you get a supercar that could shatter Ferraris and Lamborghinis on the track. The torque figure should also go up to around 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, some of it available from zero RPM.

The reason why all other suggestions couldn't work was that the weight of the car would be an issue with a V10 or inline 6. In this case, the added kilos would be marginal and, they'd also be easily counterbalanced by a few small changes like removing the rear seats completely (they're useless anyhow) and leaving the body panels paint free.

Sounds good? Well, for the first time it also sounds possible, not to mention that the Germans have to do something special for their anniversary which will be celebrated all through 2016. The only problem is, there’s little time to do all the research and development such a car would need.

Furthermore, we haven’t seen one test car on the road up until now which means the development didn’t even start yet. Half a year to launch a car with an importance such as this one? Seems like an absurdly long shot and yet, we’ve seen other miracles like this before.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories