Powered-Up BMW i8 Planned For 2016, Called i9: Report Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Sep, 27 2014 | 2 Comments

BMW is reportedly planning a powered-up version of its i8 high-performance EV as a special edition to celebrate the carmaker’s centenary in 2016.

Britain’s Autocar reports that unnamed sources have revealed the celebratory plans, and hinted that the new model might carry the ‘i9’ name.

The ‘regular’ i8 is hardly a slouch, with a combined 266kW and 570Nm and a 'split' AWD drivetrain.

A turbocharged 170kW and 320Nm three-cylinder petrol engine is harnessed to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic, with a potent electric drive powering the front wheels.

But the i9 will almost certainly leave the i8 in its dust, if, as reported, the three-cylinder unit is replaced by a 3.0 litre six-cylinder petrol engine.

2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8

The electric motor would also get a performance upgrade, but exactly how much combined ‘go’ would be available from the powered-up pair is unclear.

The i8 can reach 100km/h from rest in 4.4 seconds on its way to a limited top speed of 250km/h, so a sub 4.0 second 0-100km/h time from the i9 would be a possibility.

While the i9 would reportedly share the same underpinnings as the i8, exterior (and perhaps interior) styling is expected to be more aggressive.

The BMW i8 is set to arrive in Australia from March next year, preceded by the smaller i3 EV in November of this year.

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