It wasn’t long ago that news broke of a new i3 – and it possibly coming our way. In fact, it was only yesterday, and now, it seems BMW will be giving the high-tech i8 a refresh soon as well. And it will feature quite a few changes too.
Aside from some more power and an extended range, BMW will be making some tweaks to the chassis that’ll make the ride even sportier and there’ll be an inductive charging option along with some new lightweight components to help shave off some lard.
Currently, our 2015 Car of the Year has a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine making 231bhp and an electric motor that adds another 129bhp. In total, it has 360bhp and a very healthy 570Nm of torque. No specific details have emerged yet as to what the new output of the revised model will be but there’s been talk of over 400bhp. Whatever the actual figure is, it’ll be more fun to drive thanks to the extra horses and new software mapping for the six-speed automatic. It should be able to hit 100kph from rest a little quicker than the current time of 4.4 seconds although top speed will likely remain 250kph.
Pace aside, the current hybrid supercar can run on electric power alone for up to 35km and sip a claimed 2.5 litres per 100km. A new battery pack should help extend that range and it could well be same one used in the new i3 which has better energy density properties or possibly the one from the i8 Formula E safety cars. That one swaps the regular 7.1kWh battery for a much bigger 10kWh unit. As for the cabin, we wonder if it’ll get the Gesture Control infotainment system found in the flagship 7 Series…
Using the Formula E as inspiration, the new i8 will receive a host of tweaks to the chassis and that could mean the same modified upper wishbones as the safety car with its revised spring and dampers. It could potentially drop in ride height too by 15mm and feature a set of 20in alloys - or potentially carbon fibre wheels that would be 25 per cent lighter than aluminium ones. What’s more, an inductive charging system could be offered as an option and we’d imagine the new wireless charging technology would be received well.
And finally, the much vaunted two-seat roadster could coincide with the launch of the facelifted i8 and we can expect to see them make their debuts later this year.