Tuning the BMW i8 is a risky business. The hybrid sportscar has such a loyal fan base that altering its looks or standard drivetrain might not sit well with its owners. However, lots of tuners are flexing their muscles aiming to show what the i8 is capable of with a little help. The guys from BR-Performance Netherlands managed to squeeze some extra power out of the hybrid sportscar, likely increasing its sprint.
The main issue with the i8, when it comes to its tuning potential, lies in what makes it special in the first place – the powertrain. Made up of a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine powering the rear axle and an electric motor on the front axle, it delivers up to 362 PS and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque when they are working together.
And while the electric motor can’t be forced to produce more power, the only way one could enhance the performance of the i8 would be to fiddle with the internal combustion unit. Unfortunately, 231 PS from a 1.5-liter engine is quite a lot already. The guys from BR-Performance Netherlands claim, however, that they managed to get some 13 PS more which is not a huge difference but, in our book, the first time when a tuner manages to give the i8 more grunt. Chip in the extra 97 Nm (71 lb-ft) of torque squeezed out of the 3-cylinder mill and this gets a lot more interesting.
The total output of the car is now 375 PS and 667 Nm (492 lb-ft) of torque, numbers that should allow the BMW i8 to fall within M3/M4 territory in straight line performance and give even more headaches to traditional supercars. According to the tuner, the electric range isn’t affected by the power increase.