British media is reporting BMW will launch the i8S plug-in hybrid supercar in 2016 to celebrate the firm's centenary.

British media is reporting BMW will launch the i8S plug-in hybrid supercar in 2016 to celebrate the firm's centenary.

About a month ago we heard a rumor about a BMW i8S being prepared for a 2016 release and now CAR says it will actually happen and will act as a celebration of BMW's 100th anniversary and also as a parting gift for the company's chairman Norbert Reithofer who will likely retire in 2016 or 2017. Codenamed M100, the supercar will be based on the i8 but with numerous bespoke components which will transform it basically into a different car.

The model is actually being developed by BMW's Project i team under the guidance of director Roberto Fedeli who previously worked for Ferrari. The carbon fiber upper structure and aluminum chassis will be carried over from the i8 but most of the inner parts will be redesigned which will enable a more efficient packaging. The token rear seats will be eliminated in order to make more room for the trunk while other changes include an overhauled suspension, wider tires and beefier brakes.

The BMW i8S will reportedly get either a four-cylinder 2.0-liter twin-turbo with 320 bhp (239 kW) or a straight-six 3.0-liter rated at almost 480 bhp (358 kW). The conventional engine will drive the rear wheels while the electric motor will power the front axle, with combined output standing at more than 500 bhp (373 kW) and 520 lb-ft (704 Nm). Despite being heavier than the 1,490 kg i8, the hotter S version will likely run the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in 3.5 seconds which would make it 0.9s quicker than the standard i8.