At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled on of the most widely anticipated cars in its history - the BMW i8. On most levels, this plug-in hybrid 2+2 sports car is unlike any car ever introduced. It is was also announced that the BMW i8 will have a manufacturer's suggest retail price of $135,700 (including destination and handling) when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014.
The BMW i8 at a glance
- First plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group and world's most forward-looking sports car; revolutionary interpretation of BMW's hallmark driving pleasure; groundbreaking premium character clearly defined in terms of sustainability.
- 2+2-seater with LifeDrive architecture developed specifically for BMW i, aerodynamically groundbreaking body design and visionary interior design deliver an intense driving experience; Life module passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP); drive system technology, high-voltage battery, chassis, and crash and structural functions integrated into the aluminum Drive module; curb weight: 3,285 lbs (1,490 kg); Cd: 0.26; very low center of gravity (below 18 inches); well-balanced weight distribution.
- Emotion-led visual impression based around established BMW i design language; classical sports car proportions and fresh interpretation of BMW design features; doors open upwards like wings; clean lines, plus surface design (external and internal) based on the layering principle; full-LED headlights as standard, innovative laser headlights -unique worldwide- are available as an option where regulations allow (not available in the US).
- Plug-in hybrid system developed and produced by the BMW Group represents the latest development stage of Efficient Dynamics; debut for three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, displacement: 1.5 liters, output: 231 hp, maximum torque: 236 lb-ft; power sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox; model-specific hybrid synchronous electric motor, output: 131 hp, maximum torque: 184 lb-ft; power channeled through the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission; lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling and usable capacity of 5 kWh.
- First combination of BMW TwinPower Turbo and BMW eDrive technology plus intelligent energy management produce system output of 362 hp (max. torque: 420 lb-ft) and give the BMW i8 the performance characteristics of a pure-bred sports car (0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds) combined with fuel economy and emissions comparable to a small car - EU fuel consumption: 94 mpg (US); "glued-to-the-road" AWD driving experience with torque distribution geared towards optimized dynamics.
- Driving Experience Control switch and eDrive button allow driver to choose from five driving modes; range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) on electric power alone and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph); COMFORT mode offers optimum balance between dynamics and efficiency; combined range in everyday conditions: over 500 kilometers (310 miles); SPORT mode with ultra-intense boost function provided by the electric motor; ECO PRO mode can be used in both all-electric mode and hybrid mode.
- Sophisticated chassis technology featuring a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle; Electric Power Steering; Dynamic Damper Control comes as standard; 20-inch light-alloy wheels are standard.
- Intelligent lightweight construction with elements including a CFRP passenger cell, doors with a CFRP-aluminum structure, an instrument panel with magnesium support, an aluminum chassis and a partition between the passenger compartment and boot made from thin glass; comprehensive safety concept and an ultra-torsionally stiff passenger cell.
- Extensive standard equipment includes the Navigation system Professional with proactive drive system for all-electric driving, fully-digital instrument display, BMW iDrive with freestanding Control Display and leather sports seats; choice of four exterior paint finishes and four interior equipment variants.
- Wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive features: Park Distance Control, cruise control system with braking function, rain sensor and Intelligent Emergency Call function, optional driver assistance package with High Beam Assistant, a rear view camera, Surround View, Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display, and Collision Warning with pedestrian recognition and braking function; also available are the Head-Up Display, BMW Online Entertainment, Concierge Services, Real Time Traffic Information and mobility services developed specifically for BMW i, e.g. intermodal route guidance as standard.
- Services specifically developed for BMW i as part of the 360° ELECTRIC program: BMW i Charging Station for convenient battery charging at home, ChargeNow card giving customers a cash-free payment option at public charging stations as well as innovative mobility services such as MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse; flexible sales concept enables made-to-measure mobility solutions.
- All-embracing sustainability concept running like a thread through the value chain; carbon fiber production and vehicle assembly using 100-per cent renewable electricity; high proportion of recycled materials; use of materials manufactured and treated in an environmentally friendly manner.
Read our in person first impressions of the BMW i8
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