Next-gen BMW i8 to get four-cylinder hybrid?

Adding another piston is expected to bring a significant jump in power.

BMW is reportedly considering a four-cylinder engine for the next-generation i8's hybrid powertrain.

The i8 has been subject to several seemingly contradictory rumors, some pointing to an all-electric future and others hinting at a more powerful hybrid system. The current model integrates a three-cylinder gasoline engine, with a total hybrid output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

BMW Blog suggests the company's leadership is now leaning toward a more powerful hybrid setup. The report cites previous rumors pointing to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower, before adding in extra power from electric motors.

Earlier rumors raised the possibility of a pure battery-powered i8 with around 750 horsepower and a range of 300 miles.

The next-generation i8 project is said to be still in the feasibility stage. If approved, a redesigned model is unlikely to arrive until 2022 or later.

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