Continuing with my previous post about perverse engine swap ideas, I've just thought up a really crazy idea.

What if someone were to stick an old BMW or Renault v10 F1 engine into the back of an i8 and move the three-cylinder engine it currently has to where the electric motors are.

Basically, you could toot around town with a small three-cylinder and be economical. Then when you get to the racetrack, you use the already warmed up three-cylinder to warm up the engine oil and coolant to bring the F1 engine up to operating temperature and let the engine expand to its operating tolerances. Then you fire up the engine using the batteries along the spine of the i8 to start it up (like the P1 does with its electric power unit in place of a starter motor). Once you're on the track you could use the three-cylinder as a KERS unit and generate electricity through a decoupled clutch along with a secondary flywheel while the F1 engine takes over for driving duties. The electricity can then be applied like in the LaFerrari or P1.

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The drivetrain would be a FWD when you are using the three-cylinder around town (and to get around the beancounters and general public's obsession with FWD) and switch to RWD when the F1 engine is being used. A manual can be had for the three-cylinder since it'd probably be pretty fun to rev that tiny thing out around town and a DCT is hooked up to only the F1 engine.

so TL:DR

  • Stock three-cylinder in the front with 6-speed manual powering the front wheels for going to the shops
  • BMW or Renault v10 F1 engine in the back with DCT powering the rear wheels for track duty
  • Use the three-cylinder for warming up the F1 engine to operating temperatures then it switches to KERS duty
  • Use the stock battery pack for a starter motor (like the P1 does) and for extra power