By now, many of us have already said our goodbyes to BMW’s futuristic supercar. The i8, which ceased production last month, lives on as the German automaker’s first hybrid supercar, and the brilliant-looking model that paved the way for BMW’s future of electrified success.
But while the i8 saw its last eighteen examples roll off the production line in Leipzig just last week, enthusiasts weren’t as quick to forget about the electrified sports car—or its potential.
There’s always been a debate surrounding what the i8 ever truly was. Was it a hypercar? A supercar? A sports car at all? Like my fellow BimmerLife colleague David Rose puts it, how you classify the i8, you must recognize its billboard-worthy good looks and individualistic personality. BMW’s ambition behind the i8’s conception was meant to break barriers, not conform to them. And now, it seems that the i8 isn’t ready to be put to rest—the phoenix has risen from its ashes and escaped its fate, or so it seems.
Enter Edo Motorsport—a Swiss performance tuner that is set on doing just that—reviving the i8 and quashing any preconceived notions you may have had about its performance.
Straight on the heels of Edo’s latest creation, the i8 CSL-R (Coupé Sport Light-Racing), comes a very ambitious overhaul of another i8 Coupe, this time with a Formula E safety car serving as inspiration for the finished product. Clearly, one look at the massive GT3 wing-equipped i8 is proof enough that Edo Motorsport transcended the original idea of designing a carbon-copy of the Formula E safety car, ending up with an entirely different beast.
Dubbed the i8 “Procar,” this carbon-clad bimmer bears the visage of some distant GT3 cousin more than its originally-intended Formula E setup. With an imposing M1-inspired race wing with dimensions reminiscent of a Plymouth Road Runner Superbird, and enough aero to take flight, this is the electrified track toy that we didn’t know we needed, until now.
With an estimated 88 pounds worth of weight-reduction and an impressive 441 pounds of downforce, the creative minds over at Edo Motorsport could have just stopped there and reaped the benefits—but they didn’t. Fitting the i8 with a single-exit exhaust, quad canards, front splitter, and a literal cutting-edge rear diffuser design, the “Procar” was nearly ready to earn its name. Three degrees of negative camber, a set of sticky Hankook rubber, Bilstein suspension, and eighteen-inch BMW Motorsport forged race wheels were also added, completing the seemingly never-ending list of modifications.
While this i8’s improved looks gives it the silhouette of a GT race car, powertrain modifications were necessary for this bare-bones “Procar” to truly earn its race pedigree. The B38 inline-three cylinder engine was revised from a stock 374 horsepower to a hearty 490 horsepower with 656 pound-feet of torque through the addition of larger turbochargers and increased airflow, with 23 of those extra ponies coming from the re-tuning of the stock electric motor.
Edo Motorsport has yet to prove the new racecar DNA of its $190,000 Procar conversion, but they remain hopeful for a 1:48 lap time around Germany’s Bilster Berg track, shattering their previous record of 1:50. Should they succeed in that goal, the i8 Procar could very well enter into Porsche 911 GT3 RS territory. How’s that for supercar-level performance?—Malia Murphy
[Photos courtesy Edo Motorsport.]