Word has it that Bavaria is cooking up a hybrid supercar that can produce around 700 horsepower

It took all of two days before the first supercar news of 2019 arrived. BMW, it seems, is cooking up an indirect replacement for the i8 hybrid sports coupe, only this time, the model in question is pegged as a new flagship M Performance model that could produce a combined 700 horsepower. Very rarely do you see a BMW with the kind of power and performance that can rival the likes of Ferrari and McLaren. If this rumor has legs to it, we could be seeing that very car: a proper BMW supercar that can compete with the best the segment has to offer.

The 2021 BMW i8 Could be a 700-Horsepower Hybrid Supercar Aimed Directly at the Heart of Ferrari Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This is the kind of news you want ringing in 2019. As productive an automaker as BMW is, it’s never really ventured into the realm of supercars like some of its rivals. Whereas Audi has had the R8 for more than ten years now and Mercedes-Benz has had models like the SLS-AMG and different versions of the AMG GT in the same time frame, the Bavarians have resisted on taking that plunge into the pool of exotics. The M cars are solid performance vehicles, but they hardly qualify as supercars. The i8 looks like a supercar, but doesn’t perform like one. Even the new BMW Z4 Roadster fits into that mold. The words “BMW” and “supercar” just hasn’t been mentioned enough in the same sentence in quite some time.

Now, this report from Autocar is still subject to confirmation from Bimmer, but if BMW is actively considering a flagship supercar to its lineup, that could be a game-changing development in the segment, especially if said model is rumored to bring together the brand’s advancements in electrification, lightweight technology, and new materials. In other words, if BMW is building a flagship supercar, it’s pushing all of its chips into the table and going all-in on this bad boy. All in, baby!

According to the report, the proposed exotic could serve as an indirect replacement for the i8, which, after five years in the market, still stands as the brand’s flagship electric sports car.

The i8 still has some appeal left to it, sure, but with no direct replacement in the mix, Bimmer could be moving on from the all-electric performance car setup to focus on a hybrid offering that has more potential from perspectives of power and performance.

The 2021 BMW i8 Could be a 700-Horsepower Hybrid Supercar Aimed Directly at the Heart of Ferrari Exterior
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Klaus Fröhlich, a BMW board member who heads product development for the brand, hinted that such a car could be in the works. “If you are an engineer, once in your life, you want to make a super-sports car,” Fröhlich told Autocar. “I think partial electrification will enable that. If we have these very compact and very powerful electric driving units, if we have a carbon fiber chassis – for example, the i8’s – and if we still have high-performance engines, then, if you do it cleverly, you can combine them into a real performance package.”

Clearly, there’s a strong level of interest within BMW to develop a supercar that uses a hybrid setup that’s similar to the ones a lot of supercars now use. And it’s not like BMW is short on resources, either. If the German automaker wants to build a hybrid exotic that could give models like the McLaren 720 and Ferrari 488 GTB fits, it can do it without having to throw itself off a cliff.

That leads us to the rumored model, which could arrive as early as 2023. Count those fingers. That’s four years from now.

According to the report, the proposed hybrid supercar could still have traces of the i8 in it, specifically the latter’s lightweight carbon fiber architecture.

That’s not to say that it’s going to be the same chassis; a lot of modifications will be made to ensure that it’s up to modern standards. On the performance front, the rumored supercar is more than likely to receive a larger combustion engine than the i8’s rather puny and admittedly underpowered 1.5-liter three-cylinder unit. A four-cylinder engine is possible, though if BMW intends to dial up the car’s total horsepower to about 700 ponies, a six-cylinder engine is a more likely candidate. Keep an eye on the total output, too, because the proposed supercar should, at the very least, exceed the 620-horsepower output of the just-announced BMW M8.

The 2021 BMW i8 Could be a 700-Horsepower Hybrid Supercar Aimed Directly at the Heart of Ferrari Exterior Wallpaper quality
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All of this paints an exciting picture of what’s to come from BMW. Cross your fingers that this BMW hybrid supercar gets the green light, though if it does, you’ll likely need to break the bank to afford one. There’s no price for the car at the moment, but you can expect it to fetch a lot more than the BMW i8, which currently sells for more than $130,000 in the U.S. Word has it that BMW isn’t planning to produce the model in volume numbers to keep its exclusivity and long-term value.

Further reading

The 2021 BMW i8 Could be a 700-Horsepower Hybrid Supercar Aimed Directly at the Heart of Ferrari Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i8.

The 2021 BMW i8 Could be a 700-Horsepower Hybrid Supercar Aimed Directly at the Heart of Ferrari Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8

2019 BMW M8
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW M8

1978 - 1981 BMW M1 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 1978-1981 BMW M1.

Source: Autocar

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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