BMW Could Make the i8 Into an All-Electric Supercar

By Collin Woodard - Road and Track

Rumor has it that BMW is planning a battery electric i8 with plenty of horsepower. Look out, Tesla.

It's far from your typical sports car, but we love the BMW i8. Yes, it's a three-cylinder hybrid, but it's also gorgeous, light, and drives incredibly well. Last month, though, we reported that a refreshed version is on the way with more power and a longer range. And if the latest report fromAutocar is accurate, BMW is considering adding an all-electric drivetrain to the updated i8.

This upcoming all-electric i8 will reportedly be based on the hydrogen prototype the company showed off last year. But without the hydrogen tanks onboard, the widened platform could be used to fit more batteries.

"The idea is to use the space within the widened center tunnel to house the battery instead of the hydrogen tanks," an anonymous source inside BMW told Autocar.

Power for this all-electric i8 will reportedly come from three brushless electric motors that are capable of revving much higher than the i8's current electric motors. The new units are said to each make 268 horsepower.

While it's unclear what the max power of this rumored electric i8 would be (calculating electric car horsepower is complicated—you can't just add up each motor's output), it sure sounds like this will be a very quick EV. And the electric i8 is said to weigh about the same as the current car, meaning no weight penalty for the zero-emissions drivetrain. 

Considering that the last i8 we tested hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, it's not like the current car is slow. But if BMW wants to build one that's faster, we'll take it. After all, faster is almost always better.