Rumor: BMW Working on All-Electric Version of the i8

BMW i, Rumors | June 23rd, 2016 by 5
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In today’s grand scheme of things, electric cars seem to be all the hype, leaving hydrogen-fueled models in the dust. BMW’s weapon in this war …

In today’s grand scheme of things, electric cars seem to be all the hype, leaving hydrogen-fueled models in the dust. BMW’s weapon in this war is represented by the i division that is in charge of bringing out not only pure EV models but help out with the development of plug-in hybrids as well. Lately, we’ve seen more and more iPerformance models being released, from the xDrive40e X5 to the 740e model but it seems like even the i8 might get a bit modified in the near future.

According to sources speaking to Autocar, BMW is currently working on an all-electric version of the i8. This would be a drastic change in how the car is perceived and what it brings to the table and might turn it into a proper supercar, even if it is powered by electric motors entirely. But what kind of system could be used for such a contraption?

Apparently, the hydrogen-powered prototype i8 that was shown to the media last year will be used as a basis for the upcoming i8 EV. The enlarged center tunnel that was created to house hydrogen tanks would be used to accommodate a larger battery pack that would, in turn, power the electric motors that send power to the wheels. And yes, you read that well, there will be three motors on-board the electric i8.

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Unlike the current configuration, the rear internal combustion engine will be replaced by two electric motors mounted in its stead, that will be powering the rear wheels. Coupled with the single motor that will be taking care of the front axle, the i8 will become an EV with three electric motors in total. As for the power output, sources claim that each one of them will be good for up to 268 HP. That’s a drastic increase compared to the current layout that uses an electric motor good for only 129 HP.

Furthermore, the brushless motors are supposed to be able to rev much higher than the ones currently used, providing more power and being more compact than those offered today. And if you’re worried about the added weight the larger battery pack will bring, sources claim that the difference won’t be too high thanks to higher density cells that are becoming more affordable and can be used on a wider scale.

The new all-electric i8 might be introduced in the shape of the future Formula E Safety Car, as an early concept, next year. As good as all of this sounds, it would be recommendable to take it all in with a grain of salt as we’re still to see the i8 Spyder coming out in the near future, before anything else.

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