Following a report in July by German publication Auto Motor und Sport that a hotter BMW i9 was on the way, US magazine Automobile is reporting that the new model has been internally codenamed ‘M100’ and is “almost certain” to be badged BMW i8S.
The report claims development of the i8S is being headed up by Project i team leader Ulrich Kranz and program director Roberto Fedeli, who was poached from Ferrari earlier this month.
The i8S is said to feature enough bespoke parts to be labelled an entirely different model, allegedly ditching the i8’s rear seats and introducing more aggressive aerodynamics, more rigid and durable carbonfibre, revised suspension and enhanced brakes, among other changes.
Automobile reports BMW is still deciding between two potential drivetrain options for the i8S, each with more than 370kW of power and around 670Nm of torque. The first would feature a 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo petrol engine with about 240kW, the second a 3.0-litre inline-six with close to 360kW.
The petrol engines would drive the rear wheels, while an electric motor would power the front axle, generating roughly 80kW if paired with the larger engine and 150kW with the smaller four.
The production BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid system comprises a 170kW/320Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and a 96kW/250Nm electric motor for a combined output of 266kW.
The report suggests the extra power will help launch the i8S from 0-100km/h in as little as 3.5 seconds, cutting almost one second off the base car’s sprint time.
It says the i8S will cost roughly 30 per cent more than the i8 when it launches in 2017, suggesting an approximate starting price of $390,000.