There was a time not so long ago when the prospect of an advent of hybrid and electric cars was terrifying to a majority of us gearheads. We feared that we were trading in our loud, high-output V8s (is there no replacement for displacement?) for dull, anemic, tree-hugging engines and electric motors.
Since the introduction of cars like the Porsche 918 Hybrid, the McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari – and even more accessible performance machines like the Tesla P85D and BMW i8 – we have, of course, come around.
This is why we’re thrilled to learn that according to Auto Express, a new, higher-performance BMW i8 may be in the pipeline. The site reports that “insiders” have confirmed that a more powerful BMW i8 could arrive as soon as next year, and allege that a new powertrain is being tested which uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (in place of the current, 1.5-liter turbo-three). Output from the gas-fed portion of the powertrain is thus expected to leap from 228 HP, to around 300.
Toss in the electric motor, and that would mean a peak combined output of 450 HP.
Auto Express further reports that a sub-4-second 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) sprint is the target, and that some of the weight added by the larger four-cylinder engine will likely be compensated for by the inclusion of some unpainted carbon fiber panels, rear seat delete, and/or a more stripped-down interior.
While we don’t have sufficient evidence yet to certify any of this news, one thing is for certain; this possible higher output BMW i8 will not be an M-badged car. The automaker has stated before that “i” and “M” will never mix.