BMW Releases Specs of the i8, Exterior and Interior Shots Still to Come

In wake of the release of BMW's first all-electric car, everyone was starting to wonder when the other i car was going to be released, the sportier i8. The German company decided to keep us well informed though and published the first official info on the hybrid sports car, a couple of weeks before its official unveiling in Frankfurt.
BMW i8 Chassis 5 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW i8 ChassisBMW i8 ChassisBMW i8 ChassisBMW i8 Chassis
So, what exactly is the i8? It's the first plug-in hybrid sports car from the Bavarian manufacturer and it's set to write history. The power output reaches a combined total of 362 HP and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque.

At first, those numbers don't seem like a lot but power is not the only thing that a proper sports car needs. Thanks to extensive usage of their brand new CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced polymer), the car weighs only 1,490 kg (3,285 lbs) and, even though it doesn't seem that light, we should keep in mind that it's a hybrid and has a heavy battery on it.

The lithium-ion unit is centrally mounted, underneath the floor of the vehicle, inside what BMW calls the Drive Module that also incorporates the internal combustion engine and electric motor, the battery, the power electronics and the chassis components, along with structural and crash functions.

On the other hand, the i8 is also made up of the Life Module which essentially comprises the 2+2-seater CFRP passenger cell. This architecture also gives the BMW i8 a very low center of gravity and a near-perfect 50:50 axle load ratio, both of which increase its agility.

However, most people will only look at performance numbers but that's no problem neither for the i8. According to BMW, the sports car will reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 4.5 seconds and will (unfortunately) have a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

That's quite good, close to the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S PDK that does 0-100 in 4.3 seconds and has more power at its disposal to do so (400 HP) but the main difference comes in fuel consumption.

The i8 will return an average fuel consumption of under 2.5 l/100 km (over 94 mpg) and the CO2 emissions will sit under 59 g/km. Comparing those numbers to the ones returned by the Porsche (9.1 l/100 km or 31 mpg and 215 g/km CO2) doesn't seem fair.

All this performance is possible thanks to the revolutionary B38 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine and it's electric brother. The internal combustion unit develops 231 HP and 320 Nm (235 lb-ft) of torque whilst the electric motor produces 131 HP and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque.

The car is also all-wheel-drive thanks to some innovative features. The Otto engine powers the rear axle thanks to a 6-speed automatic transmission. At the same time, the electric unit will turn the front wheels thanks to a two-stage automatic transmission.

However, BMW i8's intelligent drivetrain will allow you to drive the car as a pure electric vehicle if you want to, saving both fuel and reducing emissions to zero. For that you'll be depending on the battery pack under the floor that will allow you to travel up to 20 miles (32 km).

BMW also fitted the i8 with their revolutionary Driving Experience Control feature that offers a couple of driving styles for your needs. At start, you'll be using the Comfort mode as default giving you the perfect balance between sporty performance and fuel efficiency.

You can also engage the ECO PRO mode that will save you additional fuel or go into Sport mode that will forget about numbers and give you the time of your life. The maximum driving range of the i8 on a full tank of gas and charged battery is 500 km (310 miles) on Comfort mode.

Of course, choosing Sport mode will decrease this range and going for ECO PRO might get you an additional 20 percent, reaching 600 km (375 miles). Needless to say that the car also has a recharging function whenever you're slowing down.

We don't know about you but all these facts look amazing to us and we surely can't wait to get our hands on the new Bimmer. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for the Frankfurt Auto Show to see it first hand and then for 2014 to get to drive it off dealerships floors but rest assured, we'll tell you all about it on the way. Stay tuned!

You can also check the full press release in the attached pdf.
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 Download: BMW i8 Details (PDF)


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