BMW fans may be surprised with what the car manufacturer’s boss Robert Irlinger said in a recent interview with Autocar during a recent media meeting. And this is the fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i8 will not necessarily be receiving direct replacements.
So what should fans expect instead? For the i8, the automaker is still deciding on what to do with it, though they did say that there definitely is a market for new types of sports cars. But since there is no concrete plan for this yet, they do not have a name for it just yet and that it is still under discussion.
In other words, the company plans to create vehicles that will cater to a particular market - this could be as small as a niche market. For instance, the i3 was built as a pioneer electric car for the manufacturer. As for the i8, it showcased electric technologies.
It isn’t just electrified BMW models like the iX3 that BMW i is working on. Aside from that, they have also been developing individual electric vehicles, but it will possibly not be from a complete lineup. The number of pure i cars that automakers will showcase will also depend on whether there is new technology that they need to showcase, before it makes its way to more mainstream BMW products.
Domagoj Dukec, BMW i design boss, said that they are currently not thinking about a new i3 and i8, and that we should not necessarily expect another i3 after the one that’s currently out.
As mentioned earlier, it is not final whether or not these models will have a future. But before they finally make a decision, the Bavarian automaker is currently developing a more performance focused version of the i8, similar to that of the i3s. Alexander Kotouc, head of BMW i Product Management, said that the i8 is currently loved by many, and customers have been asking for a version that has more power. He also said that this could actually happen.
Kotouc also told AutoExpress that they are still evaluating the i8, or the iconic sports car of the new era. Though a lot of people are asking for a more powerful version of it, they have to ensure that this model will make sense for their brand, which is why they have to make the right decision. He also said that giving the i8 a V12 engine is not impossible. But the question is if it will still embrace the brand image. This is just one of the few things they have to consider when adding a next generation i8 (or i3) to their lineup.
That being said, perhaps we should not expect to see a larger ICE engine in the i8, also because the current hybrid powertrain could be tweaked to have more power anyway.