Even though the BMW i8 only started going to the hot and formerly cash-laden hands of consumers in Europe, with the U.S. release date looming, rumors are already flying that the company is looking to create a high-performance version of the car. Some car reviewers have complained that the hybrid car’s looks and price suggest much greater performance than what he BMW i8 delivers, which no doubt has ruffled some proud German engineer feathers.
The rumor that an actual high-performance version of the i8 is in the works was revealed by Auto Motor und Sport, a German automotive publication. Supposedly the new car would be released in 2016 as BMW celebrates its 100-year anniversary, making for an excellent birthday present.
As is the case with most automotive industry rumors, all kinds of crazy ideas are being circulated. Some sources are saying the upcoming model will be called the i9, which would be a conservative way to differentiate the car from the i8. Other sources are making the wild claim that the sacred M1 named will be applied to the new model. That seems hard to believe, considering BMW has gone out of its way to not touch that sacred cow. If it were to slap an M1 badge on the car, it would have to truly blow the doors off the competition, or BMW would incur the wrath of not only car critics, but its rabid fan base as well.
The increased performance in the new model is supposed to come from an inline six-cylinder gasoline engine, plus more powerful electric motors. Supposedly the new powertrain rockets the car from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds, which is laughable considering some publications have been able to coax such acceleration from the i8.