Filed under: Coupe
There's little doubt that the 2015 BMW i8
is one of the most radical and groundbreaking performance cars this industry has seen in a long time. From its unique carbon-intensive construction to its 1.5-liter, three-cylinder and electric motor plug-in powertrain to its concept-car appearance, the flagbearer for BMW's new i venture challenges the very notion of what it takes to be a supercar.
Yet apparently the i8 almost didn't do that at all. Yes, it probably still would've had innovative assembly techniques, serious performance and come-hither bodywork, but according to a new report in the Telegraaf
, it was very nearly a much more conventional beast, drawing its power from a V10 engine. According to the report, that line of development never got much beyond the drawing board, but BMW
engineers then shifted their focus to both V8 and six-cylinder motivation, going so far as to build prototype cars. The higher cylinder-count engines were eventually dropped altogether after BMW decided to turn the i8 into a hybrid, with the six-cylinder reportedly nixed due to heat management and weight issues. In the end, of course, BMW went with the PHEV powertrain that offers a total system output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque - plenty of thrust for this lightweight, all-wheel drive coupe while still enabling an incredible 94 miles to the gallon on the EU cycle
. Regardless of how it turned out, it's still fascinating to think that BMW didn't have a much firmer conceptual idea of what it was after when it started the i8's development.
Here at Autoblog
, we're genuinely thrilled about this new generation of greener hybrid super- and hypercars, a movement spearheaded by the i8, Porsche 918 Spyder
, Ferrari LaFerrari
and McLaren P1
. But even so, our inner-gearheads can't help but wonder what might have been had BMW pursued a more conventional i8, either in place of, or in addition to, the car they did build. What do you think? Have your say in Comments.BMW mulled ten, eight, and six-cylinder engines for i8 before going hybrid
originally appeared on Autoblog
on Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds
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