The electric prototype would have three BMW-developed brushless electric motors, two of them powering the rear wheels and one of them taking care of the front wheels. As the 1.5-liter gasoline engine would be shelved, there would be ample space for the two rear-mounted motors. Currently, the i8 produces 357 horsepower all told, but the electric motors in the prototype are said to produce up to 268 horsepower – each. The electric prototype is to be based on the architecture of a hydrogen prototype, which manages 242 horsepower in total.
The information relayed on to Autocar comes from a source close to BMW's development boss, Klaus Fröhlich.
The facelifted version of the i8 should arrive next year, with awaited improvements like a new 26Ah lithium ion battery – 6Ah up from the current version. There is also talk of a Qualcomm inductive charging system, and its 7.2kWh operating power is doubled from the current 3.6kWh plug-in setup. If the rumormill is to be believed, engine output in the facelifted version would be up ten percent, resulting in 390 horsepower.