For some time now rumors of a more powerful version of the BMW i8 have been circulating about the blogosphere, and the latest report from Automobile only throws more fuel onto the flames. This is more than just an unsubstantiated rumor though, as the magazine cites specific members of the project who are attempting to churn out something wonderful for BMW’s 100th birthday.
In 2016 BMW hits the big 1-0-0, and what better car to celebrate with than a hopped-up version of the i8, which currently sits at the top of the Bimmer range. At $136,000 it’s the most expensive BMW you can buy, but it also packs a lot of punch with 347 horsepower from a gas-electric drivetrain motivating a 3,455-lb package. For its centennial though BMW will crank things up with a 500+ horsepower powertrain that will utilize either a 2.0 liter turbo or a 3.0 liter straight six-cylinder engine in place of the three banger used in the i8 now.
The S model would improve 0 to 60 MPH acceleration by more than a half-second, dropping it into the 3.5 second range and giving it credence as a proper German supercar. You can also expect some enhancements to the chassis, though the weight will likely go up if BMW does indeed add a larger engine as expected.
As far as pricing is concerned, Automobile expects a 30% premium for the i8S (on top of whatever dealers decide to upcharge), and what makes this report especially noteworthy is that the magazine cites Project i leader Ulrich Kranz and program director Roberto Fedeli (formerly of Ferrari) as leading development of the i8S. BMW has been tight-lipped about a hotter i8, but it is seeming likelier and likelier.
Perhaps I can hold out for a BMW i8 Spyder as well?