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A pure electric version of the BMW i8 is reportedly being developed by the German automaker, and could one day be put into production.

Sources have told Autocar that the company is working on a version of the i8 coupe that junks the current plug-in hybrid drivetrain in favour a three-motor electric layout.

The new EV coupe is apparently based upon the carbon-fibre structure used for last year’s i8 hydrogen fuel-cell prototype. That car featured a wider centre tunnel, which houses hydrogen tanks that feed the car’s fuel-cell system.

In the i8 EV, the wider centre tunnel is used instead to store the car’s beefed up battery pack.

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According to the magazine, the i8 EV features a single electric motor up front. At the back there are two electric motors living where the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine resides in the production i8.

The publication’s sources claim that the company is developing compact and high-revving electric motors for the vehicle. These motors are said to be capable of generating up to 200kW of power each.

It’s possible that the new i8 EV will replace the company’s current Formula E safety car, a plug-in hybrid i8. Beyond that it’s not clear if the all-electric i8 will gain approval to enter production.

Regardless, the company will launch a facelifted plug-in hybrid i8 in 2017. The updated i8 is expected to feature more power, an improved battery, and inductive charging.

MORE: BMW i8 news and reviews




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