Buy a BMW i8 With M5 Power—for 750,000 Euros

Proof that money can purchase speed, if not sense.

byMichael Frank|
BMW News photo

In a bit of Krampus-style finger-in-the-eye pranking, Gabura Racing Technologies GmbH,  a a small racing tuner based in Munich, is gutting an i8 plug-in hybrid and inserting the 500-horsepower V8 out of the M5 sedan. And the latter is tuned, for good measure, to 800 hp. This non-electrifying makeover will birth the so-called Gabura GRT V8i, and the tiny 1.5-liter, rear-mounted gas three-cylinder motor goes away, replaced by the massive 4.4-liter V8 under the hood.

There’s even a wink here for Bimmer-philes.

Putting the “i” at the end of the name feints away from BMW’s proud work of reinventing the electric car, complete with sourcing carbon fiber from a hydro-powered plant in Washington State and finding vegetable-based materials for the interior… and back toward the proud tradition of cooking fossil fuels into horizon-bending propulsion.

Beyond the green vs. not-even-slightly-green “optics,” this isn’t much of an i8, even down to the chassis.

Gabura used its motorsport know-how to impart the look of an i8, but this is a wholly new carbon monocoque that’s several inches wider than the original body, and supported by a tubular space-frame. The engine is stuffed in the front as near to the firewall as possible to partially balance weight distribution, and power is funneled to a six-speed sequential gearbox with integrated differential. The suspension is said to be racing-stiff, and optimized for track use, but the exhaust and emissions will be street legal, at least in relatively NOx-tolerant Europe.

Hand-wring all you want over the un-eco messaging. We’re talking about maybe 10 of these cars seeing the light of day, tops. Got beef with the Gabura GRT V8i? BMW will gladly sell you an i8.

Gabura Racing Technologies
Gabura Racing Technologies
BMW NewsNews by Brand