Originally published on CleanTechnica.
The refreshed BMW i3 all-electric car was recently unveiled — revealing that the 2017 model year of the popular electric car would feature an improved range (~114 miles per full-charge), amongst other things.
Considering that the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 were released around the same time, does that mean that a refresh is on the way for the performance plug-in hybrid (PHEV) as well? Apparently so, going by a recent report from Autocar.
Rather than simply boasting an improved all-electric range, though, the refreshed BMW i8 will reportedly feature improved power as well — with a total system output of 420 horsepower, according to the British car magazine.
Green Car Reports provides more:
That’s a significant boost from the current 375 hp combined output of the electric motor and 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine. Greater all-electric range will also reportedly be part of the plan, the report suggests, thanks to a “revised” battery pack. The current i8 uses a 7.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, but it’s possible BMW will offer a larger pack in the refreshed model.
Autocar notes that the i8 Formula E pace car has a 10-kWh pack, and theorizes that it could be adapted to production models. That car also boasts wireless charging, another item rumored to make the transition to production. BMW may also make some suspension tweaks — again taken from the Formula E pace car. Finally, the updated i8 could get new wheels made of carbon fiber and aluminum, rumored to cut weight by 25% compared to the current, all-aluminum wheels.
The refreshed BMW i8 PHEV won’t hit the market until late 2017, though, reportedly — so BMW doesn’t appear to be in any hurry. Not that they’re in exactly the same market segments, but it still bears repeating here that the Tesla Model 3 may well be hitting the market at that point….