German media is reporting BMW will launch the i9 plug-in hybrid supercar in 2016 to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary.
A new rumor has emerged about a potential spiritual successor for the legendary M1 which would also serve as a celebration of BMW's centenary. Auto Motor und Sport says it will basically be a hardcore version of the i8, featuring a plug-in hybrid hardware arrangement that will develop considerably more than the current 362 PS (266 kW) and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque.
The additional oomph will be possible by replacing the i8's 231 PS three-cylinder 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with a larger unit. Moreover, the i9 is set to receive a beefier electric motor generating more than the 131 PS (96 kW) available in the i8.
These changes will likely make the i9 heavier than the i8 which weighs 1,490 kg (3,285 lbs) but BMW could be planning a more extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum to offset the added weight coming from the beefier engine & electric motor combo. The same report mentions these modifications will not affect the i8's ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
In terms of performance, we remind you the i8 needs 4.4 seconds to complete the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) before hitting an electronically-capped top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) while the i9 is rumored to accomplish the same sprint task in less than 4 seconds and will probably go beyond the 155 mph mark to justify what will probably end up being a limited edition priced accordingly.
Note: 2008 BMW M1 Homage concept pictured.