More details emerge on what’s shaping up to be an explosive second-gen i8

TheBMW i8 stands as one of BMW’s most important releases in recent years, and if a report from Automobile Magazine is to be believed, the second-generation version of the i8 could very well evolve into an all-electric supercar. Consider first what the current iteration of the i8 is capable of. It’s got a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors that combine to produce 362 horsepower. It’s not much for a premium sports car, but it is good enough to compete against an entry-level Porsche 911. Knowing this, BMW appears to be going into overdrive for the second-generation i8 with plans to more than double the output from the incumbent version.

The number being thrown around is 750 horsepower, which is a staggering increase even for the i8’s standards. Apparently, BMW is ditching the current drivetrain setup of the i8 in favor of using three high-revving electric motors that will combine to net that output number. Autocar previously reported that these three electric motors will each carry 268 horsepower and while the total from those three motors - 804 horses - doesn’t add to the same total, the numbers are close enough to suggest that BMW doesn’t plan to squeeze out all of the power from the three electric motors.

More potent batteries are also reportedly being developed with the capability to deliver a range extending to 300 miles. That number is a little lower than the 310-mile range of the current i8, but the massive increase in power should make the next-generation model a more explosive car to drive.

Other technologies that BMW is eyeing for the next-gen i8 include four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and an active suspension system that will have the capability to scan the road ahead and presumably make adjustments when needed. A new design is also expected to be made for the new i8, adding weight to past suggestions that the new model will receive the same carbon fiber structure that was developed for the i division’s i8-looking fuel cell research vehicle that was unveiled back in July 2015.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

If there are really legs to this report - it’s the second time it’s been mentioned - the thought of a second-generation, 750-horsepower, all-electric BMW i8 could be a game-changer for the German automaker. That’s especially important now that a lot of automakers are pushing for their own electric vehicles. It also helps BMW raise the bar, something I think the automaker was wary of when it started to put together its plans for the second-gen i8.

The German automaker knows that if it made incremental improvements on the i8, there’s a chance that the car could get eclipsed by what the company’s rivals are doing. McLaren is reportedly working on an all-electric sports car. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is planning to build a Maserati all-electric sports car. Even Nissan and Honda are joining in on the EV sports car bandwagon, as are niche manufacturers like Pininfarina and Detroit Electric.

The rise of the electric sports car is likely what’s spurring BMW to really swing for the fences with the second-gen i8 and that’s good for the company. It could also set the pace for what BMW is lining up for its entire i division. I don’t know if that would’ve been the case if there isn’t a mass uprising of EV sports cars in the market, but for the sake of fans of the industry, it’s a great thing that it’s happening now. I for one can’t wait to see what a 750-horsepower, all-electric BMW i8 is fully capable of.

BMW i8

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 522685

Read our full review on the BMW i8 here.

Source: Automobile Magazine

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: