The BMW i16, the successor the plug-in hybrid i8 supercar, was heading for production before the COVID-19 pandemic plugged the pulled on the project.

    Damogoj Dukec, design chief for the BMW brand, posted on Instagram a number of images of the i16 overnight, which he described as “another good kept secret”. Prior to becoming BMW’s design’s boss, he was head of design for the BMW M and BMW i divisions until 2019, and was deeply involved in the development of the i16.

    According to Mr Dukec, the i16 “was ready – inside and out” after “less than 12 months” because the car reused the “composite structure of the BMW i8”.

    The i16’s silhouette, (likely) gull-wing doors, and key architectural points, such as the position of the base of the windscreen, indicate the i16 was effectively a reskin of the i8.

    Styling for the i16 draws inspiration from the 2019 Vision M Next concept car. Compared to the i8 on which its based, the i16 has sharper lines and detailing, a less controversial overall presence.

    Although the design for the i16 seemed to be near completion, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the world in 2020, “and so, work on the project unfortunately had to be stopped”.

    It’s unclear what changes BMW planned for the car’s drivetrain. The i8 had mid-mounted 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the rear wheels, an electric traction motor up front, and a high voltage battery located in the spine of the car.

    At the end of its six-year production run, the drivetrain made a total of 275kW and 570Nm, and could complete the 0-100km/h dash in 4.4 seconds. It also had 55km of pure electric driving range according to the generous NEDC standard.

    The Vision M Next concept is claimed to have a more powerful plug-in hybrid setup developing 441kW all up, a 0-100km/h time of 3.0 seconds, and a pure electric driving range of 100km.

    Despite being disappointed the i16 never saw progressed to the factory floor, Mr Dukec is philosophical, stating that “as designers, we are familiar with the many twists and turns of such projects”, and that we’ll never stop dreaming and exploring new possibilities, and there’s always a new project waiting around the corner”.

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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