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AutoExpress: BMW's futuristic hybrid is getting an engine upgrade

BMW's futuristic plug-in hybrid is so popular that the company can't keep up with demand, a problem that's likely to get much worse next year. Auto Express believes that BMW is about to release a second, high(er) performance version of the i8 with a bigger engine, sportier design and fewer seats for passengers. The biggest difference will be under the hood, where the current 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine will be ditched in favor of a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit that comes with a fourth cylinder.

The bigger engine is obviously a lot heavier, but the company wants to stay close to the current i8's 1,485kg waistline. As such, BMW is likely to shave pounds from elsewhere by leaving carbon fiber panels unpainted and ripping out the rear seats. It's hoped that the right balance of power and deftness will push the whip from the 300 brake horsepower of the current ride to something closer to 450.

When BMW normally makes a souped-up version of one of its cars, it adds an M to the name, but you won't be ordering a M8 or i8M. The company has promised to keep its eco and performance divisions separate, not to mention that the M8 name has already been reserved for something else. As Car and Driver has reported previously, the M8 is likely to become a petrol-driven supercar that simply uses the i8's basic design. If you've got any ideas on what to call the i8 (Not M), then please do drop 'em in the comments.

[Image Credit: Getty]