BMW i8 swaps hybrid for V8 in tuner garage

BMW i8 swaps hybrid for V8 in tuner garage

by December 8, 2015

When the BMW i8 was announced as a three-cylinder turbo hybrid, it would only be a matter of time before someone gave it a V8 transplant.

We did it with our ‘Sweet Dream’ BMW M8, but German company Gabura Racing Technologies, is doing it for real.

An early cut-away concept of what will be called the V8i has revealed eight-cylinders splayed up front, with the V8 unable to fit in the existing mid-engine compartment.

The engine will be a BMW sourced 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. And with a ‘individual’ intake system, upgraded cooling system, and titanium exhaust, GRT is reported to have pegged the V8i to produce almost 600kW in final trim.

Bmw i8 v8 engineGabura builds its own six-speed dogbox sequential transmissions, and says it will mount one on the V8i’s rear transaxle to convert it to rear-wheel drive while also addressing weight balance issues.

In a video posted on Gabura’s Facebook page, a BMW i8 is shown entering its performance lair with a robot ‘scanning’ over its body and noting its credentials. The carbonfibre reinforced body panels get a big tick, contributing to the i8’s light-ish 1485kg kerb weight.

And because GRT has promised wider and wilder tyres for the V8i, saying that a wide-body design of the i8’s futuristic looking facade is also in the works, we will see those lightweight panels stretched to fit.

Bmw i8 v8 frontThe Munich-based outfit confirmed in a statement that, “The team has an enormous challenge ahead, to give it [i8] a new life by a heart transplant and completely rebuild it inside-out, fuelled with racing technology.”

“The patient is prepared for the complex surgery, so let the monster rise.”

Swapping the ‘i’ for a ‘V’ comes at a time when BMW itself is reported to build the i8 Spyder some three years after the vehicle debuted in concept car form. The company is also rumoured to be considering installing a 2.0-litre turbo in place of the 1.5-litre to help boost performance – though it’s still no V8, is it?