Now even though Rich Rebuilds is shifting his focus away from Teslas and more towards gas-burning cars, he has confessed that out of all his cars, he likes the BMW i8 the most. He bought it wrecked for quite a low price, then proceeded to fix and customize it, but now he wants to make it faster too.
His first major modification is to replace the stock springs that he had cut to make the car ride lower for its SEMA debut. And based on what he shows in his most recent video, that was a real hack job clearly not meant to be permanent.
After installing brand new springs, Rich went ahead and began changing the 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine’s map to extract more oomph. Tuning PHEVs isn’t all that common (although it is possible), but since they all have a gas engine, it’s this mill’s power output that can be increased (especially if it’s turbocharged).
Rich installed the new tunes himself, after sending the car’s standard map files to a specialist in the U.K. and receiving altered versions which make the power gain possible. So how much more power did he manage to extract from the i8?
Well, he didn’t put the car on a dyno to get the exact number, but he did measure its zero to sixty time. It dropped from 4.1 seconds to just under 4 seconds, so not a huge difference. In the next video, he says he’s going to put a louder exhaust on it and even though that won’t bring any significant performance gains, it will help it feel faster.