BMW was working on a supercar to replace the i8 but ultimately killed the project following the onset of the pandemic, the automaker's design chief has revealed.
Domagoj Dukec, who heads design for the BMW brand at the BMW Group, last week posted on his personal Instagram account (first spotted by Motor1) computer-generated images of the potential i8 replacement.
He referred to the car as an i16, though it isn't clear whether it would have carried that name into production.
The design was derived from the BMW Vision M Next concept car unveiled in 2019, which was meant to resemble a modern iteration of the Giorgetto Guigiaro-designed M1 supercar launched in the 1970s.
BMW Vision M Next concept
The i16's design was complete both inside and out, according to Dukec. To speed up the development time, which Dukec said took around 12 months, the designers borrowed the lightweight chassis of the i8. As a result, there are some similarities between the two, like the shape of the greenhouse and the doors.
Shortly after the debut of the Vision M Next concept, there were rumors BMW was planning a production version to mark the 50th anniversary of the M division, which took place in 2022. Instead BMW gave us the XM SUV.
Like the Vision M Next concept, the production version was rumored to swap out the i8's inline-3 for an inline-4 and combine it with a pair of electric motors to produce something in the vicinity of 600 hp. That would have been a big step up in performance from the i8 whose output was just 369 hp.
We'll never know exactly what the i16 would have been like to drive, but let's hope BMW does another supercar soon.