Just recently, BMW development boss Klaus Frohlich spoke with Australian publication Motoring and spoke about his desire to develop a supercar. Just that notion alone is sure to excite a fanbase that’s been begging for a BMW supercar for decades now. In the talk with Motoring, Frohlich claimed that his desired supercar would be similar to the BMW i8 and would, indeed, be a hybrid. But should it?
There are two camps in this argument. One camp says that BMW should be on the cutting edge of technology and use either a hybrid or maybe even a pure EV for its potential supercar. It already has the blueprint for such a thing, in the i8, just with more power and less weight. Frohlich even spoke about how BMW has the chassis for a supercar in the i8. So it makes sense.
Plus, there have been many enthusiasts and pundits alike to slam BMW for not pushing electrification enough. In fact, we recently spoke to someone close with BMW who was genuinely annoyed at BMW’s reluctance to adapt electrification as much as some of its rival brands like Tesla, GM, Jaguar or now even Audi. So something that would essentially be a more powerful, lightweight BMW i8 would actually be a very cool supercar. But BMW also has an opportunity to do something interesting.
We all know that the internal combustion engine is a dying breed. ICE will make way for EVs almost entirely within the next few decades. So BMW has the chance to give the internal combustion engine, a technology the Bavarians have celebrated with magnificent engines for one hundred years, one last hurrah.
So imagine something based on the BMW i8 chassis but with a purely ICE powertrain. BMW could stuff its new B58 engine behind the driver, if it’s possible to use a longitudinal I6 in that chassis, and make something truly special. Imagine something with BMW i8 looks and a proper motorsport exhaust? A mid-engine, I6-powered BMW again, like the original BMW M1? It would give the M1 a proper successor and give the internal combustion engine a swan song before the brand turns almost entirely over to electrification.
The real answer is that, yes, BMW should make its supercar a hybrid, if it ever actually makes one. It just makes more business sense and it pushes toward the future, which would help cement the brand as a pillar of the EV community. However, it would be incredible to see a mid-engine supercar from BMW with a proper motorsport engine. Screw smart business sense, we want that.