Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 10 months ago 4
Motorsport

This S65 V8-Powered BMW i8 'GTR' Will Leave You Charmed And Befuddled

The i8 seen here is a very different beast to the road-going hybrid, with S65 V8 power and a new platform

Remind me later

The whole point of the i8 is its hybrid powertrain, which - following a mid-life refresh - provides a combined 369bhp. A good chunk of that comes from the electrical side of the equation, giving the coupe a character unlike any other sports car.

Seeing one powered by a V8, then, does give us mixed feelings. That said, this isn’t technically an i8 at all - what you’re looking at is a silhouette racer comprised of an i8 body sitting on a tubular space frame platform made by a company called Solution F. A neat touch is the choice of V8 - it’s a BMW unit. A good one, at that - the race-spec version of the S65 that was used in the Z4 GTE many moons ago.

This gives the ‘i8 GTR’ 550bhp. That’s a healthy output considering it’s a lot lighter than an i8 road car, tipping the scales at just 1100kg.

All of this makes us a little sad that the i8 will go out of production next April with BMW having never made a go-faster M version. A V8 wouldn’t have worked, nor would have an inline-six, but an inline-four? That would have done the trick. Alpina managed to squeeze an inline-four into the i8 by modifying the rear subframe, yielding a car with 100bhp more than the stock output. BMW weren’t keen, however, so the project never made it past the prototype phase.