The news surrounding the BMW i8 is relentless these days with information flowing in left and right. But sadly, the latest bit of news doesn’t hold much promise for those looking forward to a sportier version of the i8 or a replacement for the M1 coming from the i8 platform.
Our German friends over at Autovisie sat down with Carsten Pries, BMW’s head of Product Management M, for a recent interview. His issue lies with creating competition for its own i8 by flooding the already-small segment with low sales volumes. Not to mention the need to develop more powerful hybrid technology and a larger engine sized properly for an i8-like car. What’s more, the i8 was developed from the ground up to be an electric hybrid with only a small gasoline engine.
The lack of an outright M model based on the i8 doesn’t completely spell disaster. Friedrich Nitschke, the CEO of BMW M, says the fuel-saving technology from the i8 might wind up in future M models while the sportier aspects of the M Division might find its way onto future i models.
While these words came from BMW corporate heads, Pries and Nitschke may be bluffing about the existence of a high-performance hybrid supercar. Only time will tell, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking information.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.
Why It Matters
The BMW i8 is an amazing car, both visually and mechanically, so the addition of a more powerful version will surely garner attention. Whether or not the German automaker goes through with building such a car or not is seems to striclky be a business question. After all, BMW is still a company whose end goal is turning a profit. If it can achieve that and offer a souped-up version of the i8, we figure they’ll do it.
The BMW i8 represents a step forward into the ‘sustainable sports car’ realm, as BMW calls it. The car is marketed as a fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly hybrid that saves the planet one waterlogged polar bear at a time, while still holding its own at the weekend track day event.
Its claim to sportiness isn’t a bluff as the car powers from 0 to 62 mph in roughly 4.4 seconds with a governed top speed of 155 mph. Most i8 owners will be more interested in economy; with a full tank of gasoline and full batteries, the 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three, combined with the 131-horsepower electric motor, will push the car 372 miles. In full-electric mode, the car will travel about 22 miles at a maximum speed of 75 mph. Charging the car can be done with either a 120-volt or 220-volt outlet with times ranging from 3.5 hours on 120-volts and 1.5 hours using 220-volts.