Next-Gen BMW i8 Could Go Fully Electric, Challenge Tesla Roadster

The BMW i8 is a stylish, futuristic-looking plug-in hybrid, but a new report is suggesting the second-generation model could go fully electric.

While the current car has a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder internal combustion engine, an electric motor and an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, Autocar reports that BMW executives are leaning towards making the its successor an all-electric.

Details are limited, but sources told the publication the switch to an electric powertrain would provide a “tangible link” to the company’s effort in Formula E. This is understandable and it would likely help to serve as a halo model for the company’s upcoming slate of electric vehicles.

If the Bavarian automaker eventually decides to make it an EV, the next i8 should have an all-wheel drive system that is heavily based on the one used in the iNext. The model is also slated to use all-new electric motor developed in-house that offer “significantly higher rotational speeds” than the current unit found in the i8.

While BMW is working on solid-state batteries, it appears the technology won’t be ready in time for the i8’s expected launch in late 2023. Instead, the model will reportedly use a lithium-ion battery pack.

Also Read: BMW Drops The Top On New i8 Roadster (And Upgrades The Coupe Too)

However, nothing is set in stone and it’s possible the next-generation i8 could continue to be a plug-in hybrid. There are reportedly a number of advantages to this strategy ,as the car’s existing platform could be upgraded economically and BMW could ramp up performance by swapping out the existing three-cylinder engine for a more powerful four- or six-cylinder unit. If BMW were to go that route, it’s possible the next i8 could have around 600 hp (447 kW / 608 PS).

The decision on which powertrain to use could come later this year, so we might learn more in the coming months.

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  • Bo Hanan

    In an effort to masculate this car- please go full electric.

  • IMAGINE IF THIS HAD BEEN A FULL EV FROM THE START. A HALO EV FROM BMW WOULD HAVE GIVEN THEM A LOT OF ATTENTION AND THE TECH WOULD HAVE TRICKLED DOWN. INSTEAD THEY GAVE US THE i3.

    • PK

      hey electric cars takes time to build you know. you just don’t go right away and jump into conclusion just like that!

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