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We Hear: Sportier BMW i8S Coupe in the Works

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/22/2014 Jason Udy

A more powerful version of the BMW i8 is in the works and is expected to launch just in time for the automaker’s 100th anniversary in 2016, Automobile reports. Codenamed M100, the sportier BMW i8S is said to feature more power as well as more aggressive aerodynamics.

Although based on the current i8 coupe’s aluminum-intensive chassis and carbon fiber passenger cell, the new BMW i8S is said to feature even more carbon fiber throughout for better torsional and bending rigidity. Expect more aggressive aerodynamics as well. The rear seats will also be tossed in favor of more cargo space. Chassis performance upgrades include a revised suspension, braking system, and wider tires.

2014 BMW i8© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW i8

The powertrain will also see an upgrade, but currently BMW is evaluating two possible combinations. The current car’s 228-hp, 236-lb-ft 1.5-liter turbocharged I-3 and 129-hp, 184-lb-ft electric motor could be replaced by either a 2.0-liter turbo I-4 or a 3.0-liter turbo I-6. Either engine would also feature a more powerful electric motor. The four-cylinder engine would make 320 hp and be mated to a 204-hp electric motor, while the six-cylinder engine would make around 480 hp and be paired with a 109-hp electric motor. Both configurations make more than 500 hp combined, and use a rear-mounted integrated starter generator good for another 27 hp and a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like the current i8, the gas engine will power the rear wheels, while the electric motor drives the front wheels.

Despite the increased use of carbon fiber, the larger engines and electric motors are expected to increase heft over the current model’s 3455-pound curb weight. Acceleration to 62 mph is said to drop from the current model’s 4.1 seconds to just 3.5 seconds (BMW estimates). With so many new parts, the sportier BMW i8S coupe is expected to cost around 30 percent more than the current BMW i8 coupe, which starts at $136,625.

For more details, check out the full story over at Automobile here.

Source: Automobile

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