With the 2017 BMW i3 out in the open officially and all the rumor boxes checked, it’s about time we focus on the reports for the flagship i8 plug in hybrid.
As it turns out we have a fresh one to share – coming from the UK comes a report about the Bavarian brand looking to seriously beef up the eco flagship. The upgraded and updated i8 should come out late next year as a 2018 model. The tasty facelift treat is said to begin with the power level, taken from the current 357 horsepower all the way up to about 420 hp (313 kW). The extra oomph will come courtesy of certain modifications of the turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and of the electric motor. More so, to go with the added punch, the engineers are reworking the six-speed automatic transmission that could bring new software mapping to further enhance performance. The current version will go to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.4 seconds and reach an electronically-controlled 155 mph (250 km/h).
Since we saw it possible in the i3, there’s no reason for the i8 not to take advantage of the higher density battery pack that would fit in the same space so we’re treating this as already done – increased capacity should bring a range boost. The changes should make sure the i8 can travel electrically for more than the EPA-rated 15 miles and also increase the hybrid efficiency compared to the i8’s current figure of 76 MPGe. The report also goes on to say BMW might introduce an optional inductive charging system and the facelifted coupe would be immediately joined in the range by a roadster variant.