i8 Goes Analog: V8 GTR

When BMW announced that their i and M divisions were going to be working more closely together, I'm not sure this is what they meant. Yes, your eyes have got it right—this is an i8 decked out in race trim with glorious V8 noises trumpeting out the back, mhmm!

BMW doesn't plan to create a more powerful variant of the i8 because customers are reportedly happy with the hybrid coupe's current power (369hp), but it's nice to see that motorsport outfits like Hamofa Motor Sport are willing to put in the gruntwork to pick up where BMW is leaving off.


What did they do exactly? Well first things first, the heavy high-tech hybrid powertrain had to go in favor of the 4.0-liter V8 (S65) out of the E9X M3. This motor has been massaged to race trim to pump out a healthy, naturally aspirated 540hp. Further weight shedding reduces the overall curb weight to an impressive 2,425 pounds.

BMW i8 V8 GTR by ArtStation

ArtStation BMW i8 Reimagined Images via ArtStation

It's inevitable that, one day, the petrol world as we know it will cease to exist, but until electric cars fully take over, we are extremely fortunate to be a part of the exciting transition wherein manufacturers can offer up a slice of both worlds and cars themselves (whether by design or ingenuity) interplay between these "analog" and "digital" spaces.

Shops like Electric Classic Cars, EV West, and OZ Motors are going the opposite direction, shoehorning electric motors into our beloved vintage cars—anything from a 50's Chevy Pickup to a more modern E36 M3. The first of the trio even going so far as to skinning your garage charge ports to look like vintage gas pumps. How cool is that?!

EV West E36 M3 Electric Car

EV West Lineup - PorscheImages via Bloomberg

What a time to be alive. I can't say I'd willingly trade the sound of an air-cooled Porsche motor for a near silent electric whirr regardless of how much faster it'd be, but to know it's even possible is a statement in itself. For now, I'll be enjoying the sound of that S65 coming from the i8.