BMW i8 plug-in hybrid coupe to get longer range, other updates: report


2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition

2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition

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The updated 2017 BMW i3 electric car debuted earlier this week with several notable changes, including a larger battery pack BMW says will allow for 114 miles of range.

With the i3 taken care of for the time being, BMW's other "i" model may soon get an update was well.

The i8 plug-in hybrid coupe went on sale just a few months after the i3 in 2014, so it's gone almost the same amount of time without a refresh.

DON'T MISS: 2017 BMW i3: up to 114 miles of range from 50-percent battery increase

A facelifted i8 is coming though, with more power, a longer electric-driving range, and other changes, according to Britain's Autocar magazine.

Thanks in part to a more powerful electric drive motor, the updated i8 will boast a total system output of 420 horsepower, the magazine claims.

That's a significant boost from the current 375 hp combined output of the electric motor and 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine.

2016 BMW i8

2016 BMW i8

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Greater all-electric range will also reportedly be part of the plan, the report suggests, thanks to a "revised" battery pack.

The current i8 uses a 7.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, but it's possible BMW will offer a larger pack in the refreshed model.

Autocar notes that the i8 Formula E pace car has a 10-kWh pack, and theorizes that it could be adapted to production models.

ALSO SEE: How wireless charging works for electric cars, explained

That car also boasts wireless charging, another item rumored to make the transition to production.

BMW may also make some suspension tweaks—again taken from the Formula E pace car.

Finally, the updated i8 could get new wheels made of carbon fiber and aluminum, rumored to cut weight by 25 percent compared to the current, all-aluminum wheels.

BMW i8 Formula E pace car

BMW i8 Formula E pace car

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The refreshed i8 will reportedly appear sometime in late 2017.

It's also possible that BMW may finally launch a production i8 convertible around the same time.

MORE: BMW i Future Interaction Concept At CES Hints At i8 Spyder (Again)

It unveiled an i8 Spyder convertible concept way back in 2012, but that model didn't enter production alongside the coupe.

Yet this past January at the Consumer Electronics Show, BMW unveiled another convertible i8 concept—the i Future Interaction.

That at least indicates BMW is contemplating a production i8 convertible.

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