Recently, reports emerged suggesting that BMW had no plans to release an M variant of its carbon fiber, hybrid i8 sports car. However, German publication Autobild is claiming that the project is back on and is set to create a truly world-beating supercar, but we’re not so sure.
The report claims that BMW will completely ditch the hybrid powertrain of the i8 in favour of the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine of the BMW M5. That powerplant could be tuned to deliver around 600 hp, the same figure expected for the next-generation M5.
Combine that power with the light body of the BMW i8, and such a car could theoretically sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 3 seconds and a top speed of around 320 km/h.
While these reports are promising, we seriously doubt BMW will ever create such a car largely because by the time this supposed i8 M arrives in 2016, BMW would be unlikely not to feature some sort of hybrid powertrain in a possible range-topping supercar.
Either way, the regular BMW i8 is good enough for most people. It is so good in fact that the new sports car is said to be sold out for the entire 204 model year! It features a brand new three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. From 1.5 litres, the i8 manages an output of 231 hp, a maximum torque of 320 Nm and features rear wheel drive. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The petrol engine is supplemented by an electric motor with an output of 131 hp and maximum torque of 250 Nm. The power from this lithium-ion high-voltage battery is channelled through the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission.
The combinations mean that the BMW i8 is able to produce 362 hp maximum power and 570 Nm of torque. Performance from 0 to 100 km/h is just 4.4 seconds with both engine and electric motor engaged. The BMW i8 manages economy figures of 2.5 litres per 100 km or 113 mpg in imperial measurements.