BMW Bigwig Wants to Use i8 Platform for 600-HP Hybrid Supercar
One board member thinks the i8 has a lot of potential that the company has yet to unlock.
At the 2018 Paris Motor Show on Wednesday, BMW's Board Representative for Product Development Klaus Frolich expressed a desire to utilize the i8 hybrid sports car's tub in a more high-performance role.
"[A] supercar is my personal wish...I think there is a next window of opportunity whenever we have the life cycle for i8," Frolich told Drive (no relation). "I'm working very hard to make it happen."
According to Frolich, the chassis is good enough not to need updating or improvement for use in a more serious performance vehicle.
"I have a wonderful carbon fiber chassis for a sports car in my portfolio—currently it's used in the i8," Frolich continued. "The chassis is so robust, so good, and so lightweight that I would like to use it for a second generation."
The BMW i8 sports a $148,500 price tag that forces it into the orbit of entry-level supercars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo at $161,800, and a fully-loaded i8 Roadster can tap $175,000. Its performance figures of 374 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque are nothing to scoff at, but in that price range, some find it hard to justify an i8 over something more capable of scaring its passenger. Frolich would prefer that any i8-derived supercar have greater performance capabilities.
"This car was launched in '14, so I would like to use something like that, with much more performance, electric and conventional. Then it will be very soon in the 600 horsepower or something region and it will not have a weight of two tonnes."
Much of the power would come from a turbocharged four- or six-cylinder internal combustion engine, over the i8's turbo three-banger. As with all performance cars, justifying the development of such a product comes down to whether it would benefit the company to do so, and BMW won't build it if it won't make money.
"This market segment is so small...there is always a business case discussions about it.. we have to invest in the brand, too," concluded Frolich.