While we were in Pebble Beach taking in the new BMW Concept M4 Coupe, we were also treated to an early preview of the production BMW i8 super car that will be making it's public debut in a couple weeks at the Frankfurt Auto Show. As this was a private showing - all cameras were left outside and we could only take away some new facts and what we could remember about what we saw.
The most surprising part about the production i8 is that it looks virtually identical to the concept car that has been shown off for the last year. The biggest difference is that the production i8 does not have see through glass-like doors anymore. Don't worry though, the doors still open upwards and are as light as a feather. Given the radical design in the concept, I would have expected the production version to be reigned in and made to look more conservative. It is impressive, to say the least, that BMW has managed to turn out this car in the time that they have had.
There were a ton of details thrown around that have already been talked about in the press release back at the beginning of August. The gasoline motor that is mounted in the rear provides power for the rear wheel and produces 231 horsepower. The electric motor in the front of the car powers the front wheels and is capable of producing 131 horsepower. The electric motor can even propel the BMW i8 at speeds up to 75 mph for up to 22 miles on it's own.
The BMW i8 is very impressive in person and you can see the attention to detail that went into turning this car into a production model. The perfect 50/50 weight distribution has been achieved through careful attention to weight from the carbon-fiber-reinforced passenger cell to the luxuriously lightweight seats and down to the lug bolts holding the massive wheels in place. This car doesn't appear to have cut any corners from the original concept and it is something to be excited about.
Look for much more coverage of the BMW i8 as it makes it's world wide debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show the second week of September.
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