2016 is a very important year for BMW as the Bavarian carmaker is celebrating its centenary. In order to mark this event, BMW is planning a more powerful version of the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar, which will be called the i9. It’s not the first time when we talk about such a model and it appears that the vehicle will arrive as the third model to join the BMW I sub-brand, ahead of the i5 and the stretched version of the i3.
According to previous reports from automotorundsport, the model should be called i10 but due to the fact that Hyundai offers the i10, BMW can't use that moniker.
Autocar says that the new BMW i9 will use a new modular 3.0-liter six-cylinder petrol engine that will be found on the next-generation 7-Series. This means that the new i9 will be very fast as the i8 gets a 1.5-liter engine and already challenges well-known supercars.
If you don’t remember, the 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine found on the i8 develops 231 hp (170 kW) and 320 Nm of torque and sends the power to the rear wheels. In addition, the vehicle carries an electric motor that delivers the power to the front wheels, producing 131 hp (96 kW) and 250 Nm of torque.
The total output delivered by the hybrid system is 362 hp (266 kW) and 570 Nm of torque. With these numbers, the BMW i8 is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds), while top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph or 250 km/h.
The electric motor provides a range of up to 20 miles (32 km) and a top speed of 75 mph or 120 km/h.
It can’t be denied that the whole concept of the new BMW i8 is groundbreaking, and so is the design of its body. Its proportions, lines and surfaces convey the i8’s lightweight design, efficiency and signature BMW dynamics. Its design also allows the new i8 to be easily recognizable as part of the BMW i family as well as a new-generation sports car.
The recognizable character of the new BMW i8 is also made possible by the structure of the overlapping and interlocking surfaces, as emphasized by its color scheme. With this layering principle, aerodynamic forms could be crammed into a progressively styled package called the new i8. The vehicle comes with a compact construction that distinguishes both its combustion engine and its electric motor.
Furthermore, this compact construction allows the front and rear sections of the i3 to feature a low-slung design, thereby further accentuating its dynamically stretched sides. Its wing-like doors open forwards and upwards to allow occupants to enter or exit the new BMW i8.
Being a BMW i car, the new i8 comes with the signature "black belt" feature that comes out from the bonnet in a "V" shape. This black belt then flows over the roof into the rear end, where it frames the center section of the rear apron.
On the rear, the black belt is overlapped by the "floating" roof pillars extending over the tail lights, while on the front, it is framed by the body-colored apron and side panels. Being a BMW I car, the new i8 also sports a "stream flow" contour of the side window styling, a feature that determines the route of the air between the falling roofline and the character line. This feature line rises through the flanks’ rear section to the rear spoiler lip.