It seems apparent that an all-electric i8 sports car is on the development, reportedly with three electric motors generating a combined output of 750 hp. Based on several reports lately, the upcoming i8 EV may ditch the existing 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine for a full-electric system consisting of large capacity battery packs that can extend a driving range of around 300 miles (482 kms) on a full charge. Further, the next-generation i8 is likely to bag key technologies like four-wheel driving system, dynamic torque vectoring capabilities, and an active suspension that can scan the road ahead to adjust the suspension setup automatically, something like the one that is already offered in the latest BMW 7-Series.
Notably, the pure-electric i8 is expected to use the carbon fibre body structure from the i8 hydrogen fuel cell prototypes, which are concurrently under development, featuring wider central tunnel (as opposed to the regular i8 hybrid) that incorporates bulky hydrogen tanks. The ensuing space will help BMW engineers to place larger battery pack to sustain the all-electric requirements. Of the three electric motors, it is predicted that one motor will be seated up front similar to the regular i8, while the other two will be placed at the rear where the internal combustion engine is located in the regular petrol hybrid model.
Originally, the i8 is due for a facelift next year while the i8 EV will take a little longer in all probability. Yet, as reported by Autocar UK last month, an all-electric version of the facelifted i8 cannot be ruled out either. The upcoming i8 facelift will receive some major updates like inductive charging technology, a pepped-up suspension with a lower ride height (by 10 mm), and a 26-Ah battery shared from the X5 xDrive40e.
BMW is now giving a major push for all-electric cars line-up in its stable, with an all-new electric car in the ‘i‘ series by 2021 along with certain autonomous functions. Code named as ‘Project i20/ iNext‘, the mission is also to employ hybrid aluminum/steel structure used in other regular BMW sedans, along with recycled carbon fibre. This may bring down the costs of the construction compared to the all-carbon fibre built i3 and i8 models. Powertrain to be used will fit within the output range of 136 hp to 247 hp.
Source: Autocar UK, Automobilemag | Photo Credits: Green Car Reports