We reported in 2013 that BMW had the potential to add more Project i vehicles after the BMW i3 and BMW i8. BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer told us, “If demand for i3 is stronger than expected, we can easily expand the capacity and the i line-up, having trademarked all options from i1 to i9.”
The German magazine also reports that the i9 would arrive in 2016 to coincide with BMW’s 100th anniversary. A special milestone deserves a special car, and the BMW i9 will outshine the i8 in a number of ways. For starters, it’ll make more power than the i8 thanks to a larger six-cylinder engine and possibly a more powerful electric motor. The BMW i8 currently employees a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder and two electric motors for a combined output of 357 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. No word if the engine will be a straight-six or V-6, though the former may prove to be a challenge in a mid-mounted layout.
The i9 will likely weigh more than the BMW i8 due to its heftier powertrain, though BMW may attempt to offset those pounds and maintain ideal weight distribution with more carbon fiber chassis and body parts. Auto Motor und Sport estimates that the i9 will run from 0-62 mph in under four seconds, which should be right on pace or slightly faster than the BMW i8.
The BMW i8 is already a stunning looker, but the i9 could stand apart by evoking design cues from the iconic BMW M1. It’ll also be more expensive than the i8, which currently starts at $136,625. Do you think the i9 would be a proper car to celebrate BMW’s 100th birthday? Let us know in the comments below.