Next BMW i8 to be All-Electric With 750 Horsepower

There's a serious disconnect between the i8's hybrid label and its appearance. It's powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to an electric motor, and is capable, says BMW, of fuel consumption as low as 2.1 L/100 km (according to European testing).

Buried in this speculative Automobile Magazine piece about the future of BMW’s electric vehicle program is a paragraph about the next-generation BMW i8, which the publication says will evolve into an all-electric sports car boasting 750 horsepower and a 500 km range.

That’s essentially double the current car‘s output of 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, which comes from a combo of BMW’s 1.5L turbo three cylinder powering the rear wheels and an electric motor up front. Sure, that makes the i8 quick, but it’s really not the stuff of dreams, given the number of 400-hp upscale sport sedans available from the likes of Cadillac, Lincoln and Infiniti. And while 750 horses would give the i8 performance to back up its exotic looks, specs like that would also put BMW firmly in the EV sports car race Tesla started with its Model S.

We’d argue that’s a race BMW needs to be in, given both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are working up EVs to take on Tesla’s current domination of the high-performance EV marketplace. Porsche’s Mission E will boast something like 600 hp when it reaches showrooms between now and 2020, and Benz is planning an entire sub-brand of all-electric vehicles.

And we wonder how much of BMW’s plan for the i8 was shaped by a desire to outperform the Acura NSX, whose 573 hp comes from a combo or turbo V6 and electric power.

In any event, we hope you’re not in a rush: that faster, all-EV i8 won’t reach the marketplace before 2022.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.