BMW isn’t giving up on high-performance hybrid sports cars, even if the current i8 didn’t quite meet their expectations. They’re working on a new model, possibly called the i8 M, which should be a major improvement in terms of performance. The Vision M Next concept from 2019 gives us a glimpse of what’s to come. Expect more power, longer electric driving range, updated looks, and better handling in the i8 M compared to the current model.
The new i8 M, set for the 2026 model year, is still a bit of a mystery. We’ll likely learn more as we get closer to its release, which is predicted to be around 2025 for the 2026 model.
As for the i8 M’s configuration and options, it’s hard to recommend specifics without more details. It’s likely that BMW will offer both a coupe and a convertible version, similar to the previous i8 lineup.
The i8 M will likely have a plug-in hybrid powertrain similar to the current i8. This means it could have an electric motor driving the front wheels and a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor for the rear wheels. The new model is expected to feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine instead of the previous three-cylinder, resulting in a total output of 591 horsepower, a significant increase from the i8’s 369 horsepower. This boost in power will put the i8 M in competition with cars like the Lexus LC500h and the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray.
The previous i8 had a rather underwhelming electric driving range of 18 miles. While BMW hasn’t revealed battery details, the Vision M Next concept claimed an electric range of 62 miles. This suggests that the new i8 M might have a larger battery pack to achieve this extended range. More information about the battery, range, and charging capabilities will likely be available closer to the car’s launch.
Since the i8 M hasn’t been tested yet, the EPA hasn’t provided fuel consumption estimates. However, it’s anticipated that the i8 M will offer better fuel economy than the current model despite the increase in performance. For accurate fuel economy figures, it’s best to check the EPA’s website closer to the car’s release.
Not much is known about the interior of the i8 M, but it’s hoped that BMW will make improvements to make it more accessible. This could include front-hinged doors and a lower side sill. Like its predecessor, the i8 M will likely showcase BMW’s unique styling, innovative features, and eye-catching design. Storage and cargo space may be limited, but a front trunk (frunk) could provide extra room for luggage.
Predicting the future of in-car technology is tricky, but considering the Vision M Next concept, the i8 M might come equipped with advanced infotainment features like the Boost Pod, which uses glass screens and a head-up display to provide information and entertainment options.
As we move closer to 2026, more advanced driver-assistance features, and possibly even true autonomous driving, could be incorporated into the i8 M. Expected safety features include standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and optional adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving.