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BMW torpedoes Alpina's plan for 460-horsepower i8

Alpina was likely stepping too far into the territory of BMW's M division.

Alpina's chief executive has explained why the company's plans for a more powerful BMW i8 never came to fruition.

Speaking to journalists at a recent media gathering, Andreas Bovensiepen showed pictures of Alpina's prototype that had been modified to fit a four-cylinder engine, according to Jalopnik. The project had achieved a significant jump to 460 horsepower, versus just 362 horsepower for the stock i8's three-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

BMW was apparently hesitant to give the car a green light, as its bigger internal-combustion engine and exhaust outlets conflicted with the eco-focused 'i' branding. Perhaps more importantly, BMW's own M division would be the most likely candidate to develop such a variant.

Rumors circulating last year suggest Alpina may have simply started a project that BMW itself already had under development, though the company was reportedly saving the four-cylinder engine for the next-generation i8.

The i8 has been the subject of numerous conflicting rumors in recent years. Some reports point to an all-electric successor with around 750 horsepower, while others claim the i8's platform architecture will spawn an entirely new supercar with 600 ponies.

In any case, a next-generation model or spiritual successor is not expected to arrive on the market until 2022 or later.

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