Munich - The BMW i8 hybrid sports car caused a stir with its outlandish styling when it was first revealed back in 2013 but if you were expecting a mild evolution for the second generation (as is the norm in the auto industry) think again.
A BMW executive has promised that the next-generation i8 will be just as radical (for its time) as the original was.
Product management head Peter Henrich recently told Autocar that, given what a tremendous job the original i8 had done in transforming the industry, “It would definitely not be appropriate to just have a little modification or improvement.
“We need to be very creative again,” Henrich asserted.
Little else is known about the i8’s follow up or when it will see light of day, but word on the street is that it should appear sometime in the early 2020s.
There has also been speculation on many fronts that the i8 will be significantly more powerful than the current version, retaining its plug-in-hybrid set-up rather than switching to an all-electric format.
According to BMW Blog, the new i8 is likely to produce a system output of around 335kW, and to achieve that it will have to swop the current 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine for BMW’s 2-litre four-cylinder unit, mated to even more powerful electric motors, of course.
The remade i8 will be the cherry on top of a far bigger electric car cake, with BMW’s vice president of electric powertrain development, Stefan Juraschek, telling us in a recent interview that the company plans to offer at least 25 electrified models by 2025, including a vast range of plug-in hybrids.
The i3 won’t be directly replaced, but expect a full line-up of more mainstream electric cars and SUVs, offering a very competitive spread of models across the spectrum.