Rumormill: A Hotter, Four-Cylinder BMW i8 Hybrid Is Being Considered

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.

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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