What killed the V10 or V8 off? The hybrid drivetrain. Once the decision was made that the i8 would be the halo car for the 'i' brand a premium was put on the electric efficiency aspects. The batteries and electric motors generate heat and so does a high horsepower V8 or V10. One would think BMW engineers would be able to resolve those issues but they decided instead to pair a 1.5 liter turbo direct injected three-cylinder to the electric drivetrain. Would the more powerful 2.0 liter four-cylinder N20 engine generate much more heat than the 1.5 liter turbo motor though?
Someone at BMW perhaps should have considered the car might make far more sense without the electric drivetrain. This is not a high volume model that will revolutionize transportation worldwide but a statement vehicle for BMW. The car is to show off as they do not include those doors because they are cheaper to manufacture.
The problem is since this car is partially designed to get attention for the BMW 'i' brand it really is the 'i' brand that killed any chance of a V10 or V8 in this sports car. What about a simple resolution? An i8 M? Well, BMW is saying no to that for now. The thought that BMW considered a V10 version though and opted against it definitely hurts enthusiast appeal. An S85 V10 under the hood with 500+ horsepower in an even lighter car without the electric batteries and motors? That would have been special. It would have been a proper M1 homage. And That is what we should have. That is what we still could have.