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BMW To Mark Centenary In 2016 With i9 Hybrid Supercar?

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2014 BMW i8

2014 BMW i8

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BMW turns 100 in 2016 and you can bet the automaker will mark the occasion with something special… like a celebratory vehicle. We’ve already heard that BMW might launch a hardcore version of its M4 or perhaps a new supercar from its M division. Now there are claims that we might see BMW launch a new hybrid supercar called the i9, a name the automaker does have a trademark for.

The news comes from Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, which has made some wild claims in the past so we would take the latest with a grain of salt. According to the magazine, the new i9 will follow in the footsteps of BMW’s last supercar, the M1, but will also highlight the automaker’s commitment to vehicle electrification by packing a hybrid drivetrain.

BMW is unlikely to develop a new chassis for the i9, so it would likely be based on the i8’s design. However, a six-cylinder engine is said to replace the i8’s three-cylinder, and assuming it’s a straight-six it’s not clear how it will fit in the i8 chassis without serious modification. That’s because the engine in the i8 is transverse-mounted.

Auto Motor und Sport also reports that the new i9 will weigh more than the 3,285-pound i8 because of its uprated drivetrain, but thanks to more power (the i8’s peak is 362 horsepower) its performance will be better. The 0-60 mph run is said to take less than 4.0 seconds.

If BMW ever gets around to building a proper super sports car, should it have a big-cube, high-revving engine or a sophisticated hybrid system? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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