The BMW i8’s carbon fiber monocoque will form the basis of a forthcoming hybrid supercar from the German manufacturer.
According to Autocar, the new supercar will produce more than 700 hp from its hybrid powertrain, expected to consist of an inline-six engine and an untold number of electric motors.
BMW board member Klaus Fröhlich also alluded to the development of the mid-engine hybrid supercar in a recent interview with the British publication.
“If you are an engineer, once in your life, you want to make a super-sports car,” Fröhlich told Autocar. “I think partial electrification will enable that.”
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“If we have these very compact and very powerful electric driving units, if we have a carbon fiber chassis – for example, the i8’s – and if we still have high-performance engines, then, if you do it cleverly, you can combine them into a real performance package.”
Fröhlich told Autocar the company’s electric motors will soon be good for 197 hp and up to 378 lb-ft of torque. This makes it easy speculate how much power and torque the unnamed mid-engine car could have, if even just for fun.
Let’s say BMW used the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six from the X3 M40i in the supercar, which makes 355 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque, along with two of the 197 hp electric motors. This (purely theoretical) powertrain combination would be good for a maximum combined output of 750 hp and 1,104 lb-ft of torque.
We’d say that’s a rather conservative engine/motor combination as well — if BMW were to go really wild, they could probably use an even more powerful engine or more powerful electric motors quite easily. Adding a third electric motor would be another viable way to get more power from such a setup. Of course, there will be some limitations with regards to cost, packaging, cooling and the like.
The unnamed supercar is still quite far away, with Autocar predicting a debut no sooner than 2023.