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A BMW i9 plug-in hybrid supercar will reportedly be built to celebrate the Bavarian company’s centenary in 2016.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, the company will make an “über-i8” that will be dubbed the i9; any hopes that BMW might have had for the i10 badge are nixed by the fact Hyundai already uses that nameplate for its entry-level hatch.

The i9 allegedly will feature an uprated version of the plug-in hybrid drivetrain used in the i8 (pictured above and below). Not only will the i9 feature a more powerful electric motor, but the i8’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine will be swapped out in favour of a six-cylinder motor.

Although the i9 will tax a set of automotive scales more heavily and power outputs have yet to be determined, it’s expected that the i9 will accelerate from 0-100km/h in under four seconds.

BMW i8 32

By way of comparison, the i8’s plug-in hybrid system consists of a 96kW/250N electric motor powering the front wheels and a 170kW/320Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine working the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. All up there’s a total of 266kW of power at an i8 driver’s disposal.

Thanks to the i8’s aluminium chassis and CFRP (carbonfibre-reinforced plastic) body, weight is kept to just 1485kg, allowing the i8 to complete the 0-100km/h standard in 4.4 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

The report doesn’t indicate whether the i9 will sport an upgraded lithium-ion battery pack. Without one, the heavier and more powerful i9 may struggle to meet the i8’s electric-only driving range of 37km. It’s also not known, at this stage, how much the i9 will differ visually from the i8.




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