If a German report is correct, BMW will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2016 with an i9 supercar merging elements of the i8 plug-in hybrid and evoking the memory of the legendary M1.
The super i8 could just as well be an “i10” but that name was already taken by Hyundai.
To eclipse the i8, the i9 will reportedly receive a powerful six-cylinder to replace the 1.5-liter three-cylinder in the i8 along with uprated electric powertrain tech borrowed from the i8. It will surely exceed the 362 horses in the i8.
The i8 (pictured) already has been likened by some as a successor to the 1978-81 M1 with a sustainable twist, but it’s really a different animal altogether.
BMW’s 155-mph i8 is similar in that it’s a quick sports coupe, rips to 60 in the low-four second range, and we’ve seen it reported as low as 3.8 seconds. The carbon fiber reinforced plastic car weighs in at a Corvette-like 3,280 pounds; much lighter than Tesla’s 4,800-pound-range 85-kwh Model S.
BMW has trademarked the “i” designation from i1 to i9, so this would be a flagship for its i-series which attempts to be eco complaint. It would likely weigh more than an i8, but could provide truly blistering performance as a limited-production car.
More limited, that is, than the i8, which costs around $140,000 and is expected to see only 500 imported to the U.S. this year.