BMW I16: The Successor to the i8 That Never Came to Be

While BMW’s M division may have taken a divergent path with the XM as its flagship offering, a sleek sports car named the BMW I16 was once in the pipeline. Unveiled on social media by BMW’s design chief, Domagoj Dukec, the I16 was positioned as the successor to the i8. However, despite its promising design and potential, the project met an unfortunate end, likely influenced by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dukec shared a series of sketches and photorealistic renderings of the I16, showcasing a design that blended the proportions of the BMW i8 with more refined styling cues from the 2019 BMW Vision M Next concept. The result was a visually appealing sports car that captured the essence of the classic BMW M1.

Featuring aggressive headlights, a sculpted kidney grille, and butterfly doors reminiscent of the i8, the I16 also incorporated modern touches like high-mounted side inlets in place of flying buttresses. At the rear, slim taillights, M1-inspired BMW emblems, and a triple rear windshield evoked a sense of performance and heritage.

Despite its cancellation, Dukec revealed that the I16’s development was completed in less than 12 months, leveraging the carbon monocoque chassis of the BMW i8 for its mid-engined layout and shared hardpoints. While details on the powertrain were scarce, reports suggested a plug-in hybrid setup with around 600hp and an EV-only range exceeding 100km.

Unfortunately, the I16 project came to an abrupt halt, with BMW opting to discontinue the i8 without a successor. Dukec hinted at the pandemic’s impact on the decision, noting that “the world changed in 2020,” leading to the project’s cancellation. Despite this setback, Dukec remains hopeful for the future, suggesting that there’s always a new project waiting around the corner.

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