According to the latest rumor flying off the mill, a battery electric i8 version is expected to reach the market, though only after the regular model gets the mid life-cycle rework.
The pure electric BMW i8, which is tipped to harness power from as many as three electric motors, is going to be first declined into a prototype used for testing purposes. The interesting fact is the all-electric model could sport an adaptation of the carbon fiber structure developed for the i8 hydrogen fuel cell prototype that was showcased around a year ago. The latter deployed a larger central tunnel in comparison to the plug-in hybrid as it needed space for the cylindrical hydrogen tanks. And for the electric version, the cylinders would make room for the larger battery pack. While the number of cells will be significantly higher than in the regular i8, sources claim the electric i8 is not going to be heavier than its standard sibling, which tips the scales at 3,273 pounds (1,485 kilograms).
Power is reportedly coming from three all-new electric motors – one placed up front and the other two in the space previously occupied by the three-cylinder, 1.5-liter turbo engine. There are no specific details about these new motors, but allegedly they should each bring to the table up to 268 hp. But first up will be the facelifted plug in hybrid i8, which is going for a power upgrade. With modifications to the electric motor as well, the combined total output should surge about ten percent to at least 390 hp.