German website and newspaper Auto Zeitung is speculating on a potential new plug-in hybrid supercar based on last year's BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept. The car, which the periodical calls the "M8", would combine a mid-mounted internal combustion engine with an electric drive resulting in over 600 horsepower (447 kW).
Instead of the concept's diesel engine, the plug-in hybrid could use the petrol 5.0-liter 507-hp (378-kW) engine available on the M5 E60. Producing up to 520 Nm, the engine would be paired with an 80-hp (60-kW) electric motor at the front axle, and a 50-hp (37-kW) motor on the rear axle. The front motor is capable of a short burst raising performance up to 115 hp (86 kW). With the lithium-ion battery, the car would be capable of a 50-km all-electric range. The battery would need 2.5 hours of recharge time when plugged into the wall.
If produced, the speculation is that the M8 would sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed well over 300 km/h (186 mph). The electric motors, aerodynamics, and innovative weight savings would allow a combined fuel economy of 62 to 67 mpg, or 3.5 to 3.8 liters of fuel per 100 km.
Weight would be kept to 1,500 kg on the 2+2 car thanks to an aluminum chassis, carbon-fiber panels, polycarbonate windows and four individual Kevlar seats. The resultant vehicle would be 120-kilograms slimmer than the Mercedes-Benz SLS. This despite the M8's large size of 4.6 x 1.9 x 1.24-meters.
Believed to already be rendered by designers, the car could hit the market by the fall of 2013 if the BMW board were to give it the greenlight later this year. The car would be built by the BMW-owned performance division, M GmbH. A cost of €150,000 is speculated.