“We're still deciding [about] the i8,” Irlinger declared. “We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it’s called, or if it’s a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion.”
Simply said, the division wants to continue creating vehicles to address a particular challenge or meet a specific market demand. The i3, for example, was built as a pioneer electric car for the manufacturer, while the more extravagant i8 showcased electrified technologies in support of performance.
Aside from electrified BMW models, like the upcoming iX3 coming in 2020, BMW i will work on individual electric vehicles, but it won’t from a complete lineup. There could be one or many “pure i cars,” and this depends on whether a new technology needs to be showcased, before making its way to more mainstream BMW products.
“With new i3 and i8, I don’t know; for now, we don’t think about it. For i, there won’t always be an i3, then an i3 after – i is not a parallel universe of BMW,” BMW i design boss Domagoj Dukec added.
Gallery: 2018 BMW i3s: First Drive
But before making the final decision about the two vehicles’ future, BMW might release a more performance-focused version of the i8, in the same vein as the i3s. According to Head of BMW i Product Management, Alexander Kotouc, customers have been asking for a more powerful i8 and it could actually happen.
“I can tell you at this point we are still evaluating it; the i8 is the iconic sports car of the new era,” Kotouc told AutoExpress. “Yes, there is customer demand for a more powerful version but it needs to make sense for our brand. You could put a V12 in there and it would be incredibly powerful but would it still be a BMW i car? We need to find the perfect balance.”
Indeed, don’t expect to see a larger ICE engine under the hood, as the current hybrid powertrain could be tweaked to deliver more power.