Refreshed 2018 BMW i8 To Get Increased Electric Range & More Power

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 41

BMW i8 In Protonic Red (Image Via Bimmertoday)

BMW i8 In Protonic Red (Image Via Bimmertoday)

BMW i8 Concept Spyder

BMW i8 Concept Spyder

For Model year 2018, BMW is expected to release a refreshed version of its i8.

The facelifted i8 will reportedly have additional electric-only range and more total horsepower.

As Autocar reports:

“BMW is set to give the i8 more power, an extended range, various chassis tweaks, an inductive charging option and a series of new lightweight components. The changes are part of a comprehensive midlife facelift for the high-tech 2+2…”

This updated i8 will apparently hit showroom floor in Q4 of 2017 as a 2018 Model Year car.

Autocar adds:

“It’s set to adopt an upgraded petrolelectric powertrain currently being tested in a fleet of roadgoing prototypes as well as the latest iteration of the i8-based safety car seen at Formula E events around the globe.”

BMW i8 Formula E Safety Car

BMW i8 Formula E Safety Car

Autocar claims that it obtained some of this information from “high-level engineers at BMW’s research and development facility.” These sources have confirmed the following:

“…the revised hybrid powertrain will have a more powerful electric motor than the 129bhp unit used by the existing i8.”

“In combination with a lightly fettled 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, the frontmounted synchronous electric motor is claimed to provide the facelifted i8 with more than a 10% boost in power over today’s model, lifting the futuristically styled coupé’s output to around 420bhp.”

That’s the power side of the equation, but there’s work being done on the battery too. The 2018 i8 will get a revised pack with cells that have much improved energy density (such as is found in the new longer range BMW i3 that arrives this summer using Samsung SDI’s 94Ah cells)  .

As a result, it’s believed that the 2018 i8 will get a 10 kWh battery pack, compared to the 7.1 kWh-unit found in today’s i8.  That would likely see the i8’s all-electric range move from 15 miles/24 km (real world/EPA) to closer to 23-24 miles (37/38 km).

Autocar concludes with a list of some of the other enhancement the 2018 i8 will likely get

“…the facelifted i8 is also in line to receive a number of chassis modifications. Nothing has been confirmed, but the two i8 safety cars at Formula E events have modified upper wishbones and mounting points, together with revised spring and dampers, a 15mm lower ride height than the production car and 20in alloy wheels shod with 245/35 front and 285/30 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.”

Inductive, wireless charging is also expected to be available as an option on the updated i8.

Lastly, we expect too see the topless roadster version of the i8 make it into production shortly after the freshened standard i8 model makes is grand showroom debut.

Source: Autocar

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41 responses to "Refreshed 2018 BMW i8 To Get Increased Electric Range & More Power"

  1. David Murray says:

    Based on the 50% increase the i3 is getting, I would expect the new i8 to have an EV range of 22 miles. Which is still low for a vehicle of that price range, but not bad compared to many other PHEVs on the market.

    1. Brian says:

      Yeah, I would really like to see the number jump to the high 30s to low 40s to go along with the 10% more power.

      If you buy a i8 more power to ya, but its not the status car I would choose ATM.

    2. RexxSee says:

      24 miles AER in 2016 is ridiculous … Lol!

    3. David Agrinsonis says:

      For the Price of $140k plus, the electric range Should be close to that of the chevy Volt.

  2. Anon says:

    Yawn…

    1. evcarnut says:

      ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz

  3. drpawansharma says:

    23 miles range? Hallelujah. The word is saved

    1. missdeborah says:

      I wish the world was saved…..

  4. drpawansharma says:

    Anything less than the AER of first gen volt deserves utter contempt.

  5. Peder says:

    Just a little perspective here from an i8 driver.

    First, it’s 15 miles electric only currently. However, that’s enough to for about 40% of my trips around town, thus the valuable petrol motor is just a passenger during 40% of total trips. THink of that when the i8 have 100,000 miles on the odo, the engine will only have 60,000 miles on it.

    Second, after 10,000 miles, my i8 is returning 51mpg overall. If it were not for the effortless road rips of 5 states and 2500, miles, and a high speed 1200 mile trip to Napa, I’d be around 60mpg.

    Third, I love the three basic driving modes. Full throat, 3.6 second to 60, super fast all wheel drive in sport mode. Sedate but fast comfort mode whereby the car acts like a hybrid picking the most efficient motor/engine at the time, and stealth mode full electric cruising. Stealth mode, slow and low is my favorite as it is the most unusual in a car of this class.

    With next years refresh similar to the i3 refresh which will be officially announced on Monday, The i8 will go to 22 miles electric only.

    This would mean 60% of my trips could be electric, my mpg would go to 70-75, and the overall hp would go up thanks to a bigger battery-higher voltage to the motor setup.

    Lastly, the carbon fiber of the i8 is awesome, the design amazing, the track handling of the car is tight and crisp lap after lap, and perhaps most importantly, the swan doors are super simple, they work and the windows roll up. ZERO issues with the swan doors on the BMW i8. ZERO issues on the car overall.

    2014 was the beginning for this car and the rigid carbon fiber platform has a long way to grow. I suspect the M gang will get a hold of this chassis in a few years and then the fun will really start.

    Love our i8 and I’m going to enjoy seeing all the upgrades on future models.

    1. evcarnut says:

      I wouldn’t Brag about owning one of those……

      1. Elroy says:

        Perhaps you could brag “when” you can afford one of these.This car has more AER than any of the other plug in supercars, and doesn’t coat a million dollars. 22 miles would amazingly be on par with the Cmax, and beat out most of the available PHEVS that are currently available.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Why wouldn’t he? It’s not the best, but it’s a fine PH for performance. I especially find motor/battery power intriguing. At ~90 kW and 7.2 kWh, that’s almost 13C discharge (vs about 5C to 6C for Tesla P90DL and SparkEV)! I saw that in some Chinese EV article and called BS, but maybe not.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          The 3-cyl generates the watts the electric motor is receiving. No?

          So, Peder, you’re tracking the i8? Is that with BMW CCA? How’s the grip? Did you get to ride with your instructor?

      3. Nix says:

        evcarnut — The i8 is a supercar. For electric vehicles to replace gas vehicles, EV’s need to replace the functionality of EVERY category of gas car that currently exists in the world.

        That includes an alternative cars like Ferrari’s that get 11 to 23 MPG, with something that gets the numbers that Peder is getting. Or do you prefer zero PHEV or EV options for those ICE owners, and they continue to just keep buying ICE supercars that are massive gas guzzlers?

        All of the various categories of ICE cars all exist because people want to buy them. Your bad attitude isn’t going to change that, and won’t convert a single ICE supercar owner to replace it with a vehicle with electric drive.

        On the other hand, PHEV supercars that that beat there gas counterparts with zero compromises will. And the natural battery advancements will keep improving PHEV supercars over time. Just like the new i8 is doing.

        If you aren’t willing to support EV’s and PHEV’s that meet the needs of current ICE drivers (and you only support your own personal choice of your favorite EV that meet your own personal needs) then you aren’t really serious about replacing as many gas miles with electric miles as soon as possible.

        So are you serious about getting as many ICE owners to drive as many miles on electricity as possible, as soon as possible?

        1. Phr≡d says:

          Nix, metheenks your masochism Far exceeds mine – I cannot imagine a day so bereft of informed commentary that I would be forced to read a reply from, let alone attempt to inform, the individual that you responded to. That they have no idea who Peder is was my latest, among ohhh.. a thousand clues.

          ignore button please.

      4. sven says:

        I didn’t detect any bragging in Peder’s comment, not even a humble brag (R.I.P. Harris Wittels).

      5. sven says:

        I didn’t detect any bragging in Peder’s comment, not even a humblebrag (R.I.P. Harris Wittels).

      6. tftf says:

        It’s obvious from many comments that “evcarnut” is a Tesla fanboy who bad-mouths every EV or PHEV without a Tesla badge.

        1. missdeborah says:

          Go Tesla 🙂 Nikola would be soooo proud !!!!

    2. Chris says:

      One 0-60 launch in electric mode and you electric range is down to 5 miles. Have fun.

      1. Peder Norby says:

        well that would take 9 seconds to get to 60 🙂 and reduce battery range significantly.

    3. Dan Hue says:

      Peder, thanks for your perspective. I for one appreciate it. I like EVs as well as high performance cars, and I realize the 2 concepts have not quite meshed yet (Tesla notwithstanding), but the BMW i8 is a big step in the right direction. It is the state-of-the-art representation of what can (commercially) be done today.

      1. Peder Norby says:

        It’s really interesting to see both perspectives (Tesla and BMW)

        Tesla has never sold a gas car, so advantage Tesla on being free to go full EV. They are having a harder time on Q control issues and hitting the interior luxury standards of the market leaders, however thy are improving on both fronts.

        BMW sells 1.8 million cars a year. Their strategy for their base is PHEV migration ultimately to full EV with special project full EV’s in the early years. Advantages for BMW are scale and flexibility and 100 years of automotive history. They struggle with calculations of market share and decisions regarding product development.

        Two different approaches, each necessary for the two different companies. I think they both win big time at the end 🙂

    4. ffbj says:

      Thanks for the perspective. It’s always important to hear from experienced owners.

    5. beta995 says:

      Nice to hear you do drive it in Electric Mode.
      And I hope you’re leasing so you can upgrade, and put that used car on the market.

      Thanks for your effort!

      1. Peder Norby says:

        Plug it in every night 🙂

    6. Trollnonymous says:

      So, how much did you pay for the i8?

  6. Elroy says:

    Well if you need to cruise 150mph on the autobahn for extended periods, the i8 will do what the Tesla can’t. And on the track, and back road burning,the i8 has received positive reviews. Reviews that wouldn’t exist if it weighed 5000lbs.

    That is especially correct on the interior.Sat in a 6 series Grand Coupe the other day. The shapes, textures, and quality was amazing. Everything the Tesla isnt. Motor trend said the same thing when comparing the German Super sedans vs the Tesla. The craftsmanship exudes a rich luxurious feeling, from the door pockets to the center console artistry.

    1. philip d says:

      “Well if you need to cruise 150mph on the autobahn for extended periods, the i8 will do what the Tesla can’t.”

      I’m not so sure about that. I don’t have any evidence to know for sure how the i8 might run on the autobahn but I would assume after about 6-8 miles of driving 150 mph the battery would be drained and all the work would be left to the 228 hp 3-cylinder engine. If you were running flat out you wouldn’t be able to regen to charge the battery back up.

      228 hp would probably be able to hit 150 mph but would be pretty damn hard on the engine to maintain that speed and might not even be able to do it for long without overheating. It probably would need to fall back to 130-135 mph.

      A P90D would probably follow the same scenario. Here is a video of a P85D hitting 150 mph for less than a minute before reducing speed.

      But with the P90D with Ludicrous it could probably hold 150 for a couple of minutes and a half dozen miles or more before falling back to a steady 135 mph.

      1. Robert says:

        My Car is a VW eco up with a 3-Cyl. 68 hp engine. I can go roughly a 100 mph top speed on the autobahn. With a 200+ hp engine in an aerodynamically superior car 150 mph shouldn’t be a problem and this for a longer period of time than 15 min. Of course the electric power is missing when the battery is empty especially for accelarating but the petrol engines power should be sufficient to keep high speeds.

  7. Ct200h says:

    Since the i8 uses a version of the i3 electric motor we can only hope the improved power motor from the i8 finds its way into an i3 ?

    1. Elroy says:

      It is supposed to be the same motor now, but makes quite a bit more HP in the i3, probably due entirely to battery capacity.

      1. chris says:

        The i8 always had the same i3 motor. The only difference – they detuned it in the i8 !

        Supposed reasons for this in the 1st gen i8 were;

        1) Lack of space for additional required heavy cooling and heavier power electronics.

        2) The need to keep weight down to maximise driving dynamics on bends, turns, corners etc. (Remember the extra ICE drivetrain taking up weight and space.)

        3) A phev class Samsung battery as opposed to using the i3’s more powerful 64ah EV class version. (For weight, space and cost saving).

        A carbon fibre tub on its own just doesn’t cut it when a BMW has to drive like one even on a circuit.

        Having driven a friends i8, I can say they got the balance more or less right with the available density of low weight cells for the task at hand. I love it in full EV mode despite only being front wheel drive when driven like that.

        Having given a brief ride to someone at a Supercharger, I can tell you he loved it, and if there was one thing he misses in his Model S, it’s the reduced vehicle sound when driving enthusiastically. I’ve heard from many drivers that would welcome augmented (electric) sound as most sports cars do with traditional sounding engines today. Good EV example is the Saleen 416 tuned Model S.

        I agree with the sentiment that BMW needs Tesla to keep pushing it, (and validate the demand that is clearly there – proved by Model 3). Would make sense for a partnership.

  8. sveno says:

    With all the changes do they upgrade the fake V8 sounds from speakers too?

    1. Peder Norby says:

      Standard trick in most high performance cars including even the Ford Mustang.

      Cars are so acoustically isolated on the interior now, that they pump sound in from the motor via the speakers. Not fake sounds, but augmented for sure.

      I love the sound!

      1. sveno says:

        The i8 sound is definitely fake – check youtube where some have taken out the fuse to hear that the 3-cyl really sounds like a 3-cyl *gasp*. At least its quiet.

        http://insideevs.com/bmw-i8-fake-engine-note-revealed-video/

        It would be cool if they would be open about it but I feel you are lying to the consumer if you can’t turn it off (hear the difference).
        But hey – some like breasts with implants too!

    2. Nix says:

      “BMW, Ford, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Lexus are just a few of the companies that are faking their engine noises. Using amplification and reproduction they make their engines sound like the V8s of old.”

    3. missdeborah says:

      LOL !!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  9. tom911 says:

    Make the refreshed model CA HOV compliant – that’s the ticket!

  10. oldevguy says:

    I’ve been driving battery electric for about 12 years (converted geo metro & yamaha motorcycle) and a Leaf since 2011.You guys can have all that noise, vibration & maintenance. I don’t need it any more.