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BMW rumored to be developing electrified, i8-replacing supercar

The car would reportedly pack 700 horsepower and debut by 2023.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster

Rather than directly replacing the i8, BMW may be looking to build a more expensive and more powerful hybrid supercar.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

We've found a lot of like about the i8, BMW's plug-in-hybrid near-supercar. But the engineers at BMW apparently want to build something even more extreme. According to a new report from Autocar, BMW plans to develop a new hybrid, mid-engined supercar that would compete with entries from the likes of McLaren.

Autocar says that rather than a direct BMW i8 successor, the new model would be much more expensive and considerably more powerful. It would reportedly use a six-cylinder engine, instead of the i8's turbocharged triple, and gutsier electric motors. All told, 700 horsepower is allegedly the target. As with the i8 -- and the supercars BMW aims to compete with -- the new model would be built from carbon fiber to keep weight low.

"If you are an engineer, once in your life, you want to make a super-sports car," Klaus Fröhlich, BMW's board member responsible for research and development, told Autocar. "I think partial electrification will enable that."

BMW has publicly committed to launching at least 25 electrified vehicles by 2025, of which 13 will be fully electric. Rival supercar manufacturers are also pursing hybrid tech to improve both power and efficiency. McLaren, for instance, has said publicly that 50 percent of its lineup will be hybrids by 2022 and 100 percent will be hybrids by 2025. Similarly, the Acura NSX uses hybrid technology, and Ferrari has said its future models will use hybridization.

With the new hybrid supercar is not expected to debut for another four years, we've got a long time for BMW's plans to change. Still, it's an exciting reminder that a future of electrified vehicles does not mean a future devoid of powerful supercars.