BMW i8 Gets Tuned by iND Distribution

As plenty of tuners from Germany have discovered, enhancing the BMW i8 is tricky business. AC Schnitzer and Manhart took swings at it but all they could come up with was a set of new add-ons for the exterior, and that was basically it.
BMW i8 by iND Distribution 1 photo
Photo: iND Distribution
That’s because of the unique layout the car from Munich has. This is BMW’s first model that is both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive if you want it to. Furthermore, it has two different power plants on board, working on different cycles.

Up front we have an electric motor powering the front axle alone. Making 131 HP and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque, it’s rather modest compared to the one used in the i3.

However, there’s another one at the back, powering the rear axle as well. That’s a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged unit developing 231 HP and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque, incredible numbers for an engine that small.

Together they make 362 HP and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque, an astounding figure if you think about the performance this car has, reaching 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds. Then think about the fact that the i8 does all of this using a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine. It’s mind-numbing.

That’s also what makes it hard to tune. Accessing the ECU of the plant is hard to do but even if you do get access to it, how much power could be squeezed out of it?

On the other hand, the electric motor is impossible to tune by any means so making the i8 go faster with its stock parts is not possible right now.

That’s something iND Distribution knows so when they set out to tune an i8 they went for visual changes instead of technical ones. Therefore, the BMW received new painted reflectors and Cobra lowering springs for a better stance while the wheels were changed with HRE S101 rims painted in gloss charcoal on the outer barrel and faces with electric blue for the inner barrel.

Overall, we’re not sure that the modified i8 is better looking that the standard one as the design BMW came up with for the wheels of the plug-in hybrid appeal to us more than the HRE creations at play here. What’s your take?
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