The BMW Vision M Next Concept offered a look into the M division’s future, and the production model that emerges from this could turn out to be the successor to the mid-engined plug-in hybrid BMW i8, according to Automobile Magazine. The halo model will remain with the rear-mid-engined layout, though a more potent powertrain is expected.

A 340 hp turbo petrol four mated to a 201 hp electric motor is expected to take the place of the 231 hp/320 Nm 1.5 litre three-cylinder fixture in the current i8 producing 374 hp in total system output, with chassis revisions aimed at providing the mid-engined PHEV with sportier handling, the report said.

The marque’s M division is handling the halo car project, according to Automobile Magazine‘s sources, and the ultimate iteration of that car is expected to be a low-drag, all-wheel-drive two-seater with 671 hp in total system output, also comprising a 135 kWh battery pack that will not contain any rare-earth materials, the report added.

BMW i8 Roadster in Malaysia

Further into the long-term, the magazine suggests that the eventual mid-engined flagship – either the so-called i12, or its successor – will almost certainly go the fully-electric route, given that the German automaker has development for electric models well underway; its flagship limousine, the 7 Series has also been reported to gain a full-EV version for its next generation.

Former BMW chief executive Harald Krueger said that the firm’s fifth-generation eDrive powertrains can offer up to 700 km in battery range, with the forthcoming electric flagship possibly achieving 650 hp in its top specification. BMW also unveiled the Power BEV experimental car in June as a showcase of what’s possible – 710 hp from three of the aforementioned fifth-gen electric motors.

GALLERY: BMW Vision M Next concept