Although BMW’s i8 remains one of the most advanced production cars on the market, even two years after its arrival, the performance of the plug-in hybrid has always been trailing similar flagship sports cars from rivals.
Fortunately, the i8 is due to receive its mid-cycle update next year and we hear more power is on the cards.
The car currently packs a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, with combined output registering at 362 horsepower. According to Autocar, the updated i8 will benefit from a lightly tweaked engine and more powerful electric motor that will see combined output rise to around 420 hp.
i8 Spyder also in the works
But more power is likely just the starting point. BMW provides an i8 safety car for the Formula E Championship that features a number of upgrades that hint at changes planned for the updated i8. The list includes various chassis mods, higher battery capacity and a wireless inductive charging system.
The i8’s current lithium-ion battery is rated at 7.1 kilowatt-hours but the updated model could get a 10.0-kwh unit. This would help boost the electric range from the current EPA-rated 15 miles.
Look for the updated i8 to arrive late next year as a 2018 model. It’s likely the introduction of the recently confirmed convertible will coincide with the arrival of the updated model.