Expected to have a 300-mile range.
BMW is currently working on a facelift for its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, but at the same it’s already laying the groundwork for the next generation. According to a report form Automobile Magazine, the i8 will be considerably different than today’s model as it will allegedly eschew the 1.5-liter combustion engine and opt instead for three electric motors capable of generating a combined 750 horsepower (559 kilowatts).
Besides packing seriously more punch than the current model, the new i8 will also have beefier batteries which will enable a maximum range of approximately 300 miles (482 kilometers). In addition, the report goes on to specify BMW plans to make the car more dynamic by installing a four-wheel steering system, torque vectoring capabilities, and an active suspension capable of scanning the road up ahead to make the necessary adjustments. BMW already has something similar in the latest 7-Series which uses a series of front-facing cameras to detect bumps and potholes in the road, and then the information is sent to the suspension which adjusts accordingly to ensure a silky smooth ride.
We might not have to wait for a pure electric i8 with three motors until the next generation which is pinned for a 2022 or 2023 launch. There was a report from Autocar a few weeks ago indicating the upcoming i8 facelift will go full electric in the years to come. Apparently, it will be based on the i8 hydrogen fuel cell prototype, but with electric batteries instead of hydrogen tanks.
In related news, AM adds the i3 is due to make the transition to a new generation in 2022. They say BMW hasn’t decided just yet whether the car will adopt a carbon fiber or an all-aluminum construction. A third possibility refers to a blend of five to six materials for the car’s architecture.
Meanwhile, the i8 Roadster is set to come out in 2018 and BMW has already confirmed plans for an electric, self-driving flagship for 2021.