Next BMW i8 will still be a hybrid

BMW i, Interesting | September 24th, 2015 by 28
BMW i8 Protonic Blue Wimmer Fotografie 30 750x500

There’s been a growing number of people who feel that the BMW i8 is a bit of a poser in the EV world because of …

There’s been a growing number of people who feel that the BMW i8 is a bit of a poser in the EV world because of its hybrid powertrain and that it isn’t a full Battery-Electric Vehicle. But regardless of these i8 detractors, BMW is perfectly happy with what the i8 is and has no plans on changing it for the next generation. According to Máté Petrány of Jalopnik, who spoke with BMW i Division Head, Henrik Wenders, the next i8 will indeed be a hybrid because that’s what BMW wants it to be.

BMW went through great lengths to create the i8 exactly as it wanted, with absolutely zero compromises. Instead of just replacing the powertrain of an existing car with an electric one, BMW created an entirely new platform, design and material development all for the i8. After creating the perfect chassis for the i8, BMW decided that a hybrid powertrain was the better route than fully electric. According to Wender, the main objective was to provide the same range and recharge (or refuel) time as a modern internal combustion engine and even current battery technology is not up to that task. BMW also has to be careful about fast charging and putting added stress on the batteries, as it has to sell a 8 year warranty on them. So the best solution was to make the i8 a hybrid.

BMW i8 Protonic Blue Wimmer Fotografie 10 750x499


As a plug-in hybrid, the i8 has the range of an internal combustion vehicle, can refuel in minutes and help recharge the battery as you drive. It’s the best package currently available, according to BMW. It fits our infrastructure better than anything fully electric. Fast charging networks are still not common enough to make it a viable option for BMW. BMW was not going to compromise the i8’s range or performance just to make it fully electric. The same goes for the upcoming model, regardless of what current trends are. BMW is apparently toying with the idea of hydrogen, but until the dedication of governments and third-party companies grows, it doesn’t see hydrogen as the answer either.

We don’t know what the next BMW i Division car is going to be. There are rumors of a BMW i5 crossover to compete with the Tesla Model S, which would also be a plug-in hybrid. But whatever the next BMW i8 ends up being, it will not be purely powered by electricity. The plug-in hybrid powertrain setup is perfect for what BMW wants to accomplish and is the currently the best option. So regardless of what pressure the market puts on BMW, it will continue to develop the car it feels is best for the future. And if you’v driven the i8, you’d know BMW has a good idea of what its talking about.

[Source: Jalopnik]

28 responses to “Next BMW i8 will still be a hybrid”

  1. CDspeed says:

    They played it safe again, that’s what they did, this has nothing to do with the Level 3 charging infrastructure. The i8 isn’t a high performance long range electric car, and it isn’t a true sports car either. It’s not slow, and I’m not saying it isn’t amazing, but on the electric side it doesn’t even come close to a Tesla. And on the sports car side it can’t keep up with the Audi R8, Mercedes AMG GT, or the Porsche 911. It always seemed strange that BMW only ever said that the $135,000. i8 would only manage to equal the previous generation M3 in performance. So it’s not the supercar that its design suggests, and it’s not even as capable as the i3 in the electric department. The i8 is worth buying for what it is, but the second you start comparing it, it really doesn’t measure up in any one segement. I still wonder if BMW’s deal with Toyota is the reason BMW’s electric efforts have been watered down.

    • dc says:

      The i3 & i8 are ground breakers, as the 2002 was 4 decades ago, or the M1 for that matter. The Tesla is an overweight luxury sedan that can’t compete with the i3 as a city car (unless your city is L.A.), and the i8’s competition is 10X the price. What do you drive? Do you have a license? Or just a keyboard?

      • CDspeed says:

        I have an i3, a 550i GT, and a keyboard, and I’ve driven the i8. The Tesla is somewhat of an all electric 7-Series , and i8’s competition is not 10X the price the P1 and LaFerrari are in a massively different category. Yes the i3 and i8 are ground braking, I just would have liked the i8 to be a strong competitor, as is it really doesn’t have much that you can compare it to. I’ve owned a couple of M3s, and I know BMW could bring a spectacular super car to market, and I guess my criticism of the i8 is the desire to see them do so, it looks like a great super car, but it isn’t one and I know they could do it. They need a hot i8.

        • Trevor Trooll says:


          • CDspeed says:

            Your comment still showed up in my inbox before you deleted it, I decided years ago that I wouldn’t be the kind of car guy who thinks his favorite cars or brands are flawless no matter what. I really like the i8, and love my i3, my wish is to see BMW be more competitive with BMW i, they’ve been extremely innovative, but BMW i hasn’t been as important to BMW’s competitors as Tesla has. The only time I complain is when I know they’re capable of doing better, and having owned two M3s I know they can build amazing performance cars.

      • Trevor Trooll says:

        what does paying for a 135,000 dollar car have to do with an opinion?I cant afford that crap and I wouldn’t buy one if i could.

        for that kinda coin i would rather get the 5000 pound tesla and have 700+ horse power and real technology, not fake blue curves and crevasses and a blanked out Bimmer nostril grill where the radiator vents used to be but the designers couldn’t think of another way to design a front end because they suck at it.

        i8 is a poser car for posers. I mean, why even call thing thing i8? Why not car it an iCar or iPhone ir iPad or iLikeToCopyAppleBecauseItSeemsCoolToDo.

    • Max says:

      Why dont people understand that it is exactly, what it should be? Yes it is maybe not that high performance like an R8 or fully electric like an i3, but it is the perfect in between! Go on the autobahn and punch the pedal and then drive totally relaxed through the city! So with (battery) technology is improving, the next one will be even better at both sides, sounds perfect to me!
      Tesla is a 7series? Are you kidding me? I sat in both and the 7er is more than just years ahead in terms of luxury, quality, innovation and design.
      I would also love to see a supercar from BMW (not to mention that they already have a bunch, which are very very close), maybe on the base of the i8, but I think this is not gonna happen to keep the i brand what it stands for: “green”, innovative and the future!

  2. dc says:

    Here we go again. The i3 & i8 are clean sheet design, tech & engineering product from the global leader premium brand, in two entirely different segments. You keep comparing them to what has come before, which is irrelevant, they are the future. The Tesla is an overweight luxury sedan that in NO way points to the future, the rest of the “competition” exist only as concepts. Neither of the i’s “measure up” in any one segment because they are ground-breakers, as the 2002 was four decades ago. Yeesh.

    • Who said anything about BMW “messing up”? We simply reported on an interview with the head of BMW i. Not sure what you’re talking about?

      • dc says:

        Correction. The phrase I was taking issue with was the i8 not measuring up. I enjoyed the interview, & the site. What I was trying to talk about, here & elsewhere, is people supporting inferior product while denigrating BMW’s leadership position. I’ll stop now. As soon as I’ve pointed out the they don’t do V6’s.

    • CDspeed says:

      The Tesla Model S is a big luxury sedan the weight is par for the course, and it certainly does point to the future, hybrids are only stepping stones to something as great. The i3 is awesome I have one, but it’s range does put it in the area of a Nissan Leaf despite its high tech CFRP construction. And the Leaf has just had a battery upgrade that gives it a bit more range, which only hints at a second gen Leaf, that will have more then 200 miles of range. I love my i3 but the carbon fiber construction doesn’t do much, the 1-Series ActiveE had more range, then the i3, and the Mini-E had more then the ActiveE.

      • Greg says:

        The carbon fiber passenger cell and lightweight design in general is exactly why the i3 is so impressive. The range of the i3 using a 22kwh (18.8 usable) battery pack is better than the leaf with its 24kwh pack and comes close to the Mini-E and ActiveE with there 32 and 35kwh packs. That alone is very impressive and is due to the fact that the i3 is sub 2800lbs. We don’t even have to touch on the fact that the i3 is the most fun to drive, well I’ve only driven the i3 (BEV and Rex), LEAF, and a short stint in a ActiveE.

        As for the Tesla Model S being a big luxury sedan and the weight is par for the course I disagree again. The new 750i is 10″ longer and weighs less and I would argue is more comfortable and better equipped.

        All that being said I do hope for better DC charging infrastructure and a 200-300 mile range i5 in the future.

    • Trevor Trooll says:

      if those cars are the future, then the future is for phony cars that have shit design. I don’t want fake blue lines and plastic all over my car. At least the 911 looks like it was engineered. The i8 looks like it wants to be.

  3. Seven23 says:

    Please i want a i8 with hybrid V6 engine this time.

  4. Trevor Trooll says:

    wtf does “i” stand for?

    • Trevor Trooll says:

      okay, I just googled this and the answer is about what I expected…

      “BMW i stands for a holistic concept of sustainable and future-orientated
      mobility that uses visionary vehicles, a fully-networked
      infrastructure and innovative services to provide a new form of everyday

      So really, if we’re gonna be accurate here, lets make a true acronym for this load of epic bullshit.


      I like that better.

  5. Trevor Trooll says:

    i8 buying this car

  6. Zero_X_Rider says:

    So if they had instead spent the new chassis money on just putting in several thousand level 3 dual output (CHAdeMO and SAE CCS Combo) DC fast charging stations all over the planet, the i8 would be perfectly fine as an all-electric, according to this article? hmmmm…. Nissan’ s already doing some of that with stations, so we’ll see if high volume BMW models start to take advantage. Personally, I’d like see a plug in hybrid and all electric lineup of BMW motorcycles – great apps for real world public safety.

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