With its ultra-dynamic proportions, elegantly sporty lines, low-slung silhouette and innovative design features, the BMW i8 represents a new generation of sports car.
It was purpose-designed as a plug-in hybrid sports car aimed at offering agile performance and outstanding efficiency. The lightweight and aerodynamically optimised body includes a passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), ultra-low centre of gravity and near 50:50 weight distribution.
The three-cylinder turbocharged engine in the BMW i8 develops 170 kW and 320 Nm and drives the rear wheels, while the 96 kW/250 Nm electric motor draws its energy from a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged from a conventional domestic power socket, and sends its power to the front axle. This bespoke plug-in hybrid system enables a range of up to 37 kilometres and a top speed of 120 km/h on electric power alone.
The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4.4 seconds, yet combined fuel consumption stands at just 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres.
The BMW i8 at a glance:
- Driving Experience Control switch and eDrive button allow driver to choose from five driving modes; range of up to 37 km on electric power alone; COMFORT mode offers optimum balance between dynamics and efficiency; combined range: up to 600 kilometres; SPORT mode with ultra-intense boost function provided by the electric motor and systematic energy recuperation for the high-voltage battery; ECO PRO mode can be used in both all-electric mode and hybrid mode.
- Lithium-ion high-voltage battery can be recharged when stationary from any conventional domestic power socket, the BMW i Wallbox or at public charging stations; possibility of preconditioning the interior temperature and cooling the high-voltage battery while charging from the BMW i Wallbox or at a charging station; charging process can be monitored and controlled remotely by means of the BMW i Remote app for smartphones.
- Sophisticated chassis technology featuring a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle; Electric Power Steering; Dynamic Damper Control as standard; 20-inch light-alloy wheels as standard.
- Intelligent lightweight construction with elements including a CFRP passenger cell, doors with a CFRP-aluminium structure, an instrument panel with magnesium supporting structure, an aluminium chassis and a partition between the passenger compartment and boot made from hardened thin glass; comprehensive safety concept and an ultra-torsionally stiff passenger cell; front, side and head/curtain airbags, inertia-reel seatbelts with belt force limiters front and rear, ISOFIX child seat attachment points and tyre pressure monitoring for each individual wheel as standard; pedestrian alert sound available as an option.
- Extensive standard equipment includes the Navigation System Professional with proactive drive management for all-electric driving, fully digital instrument display for content and presentation formats that adapt according to the driving mode with 3D graphics, 2-zone automatic climate control, BMW iDrive with freestanding 8.8-inch Control Display and Touch Controller, leather sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons, electrically adjustable leather sports seats and leather-trimmed instrument panel; choice of four exterior paint finishes and four interior equipment variants.
The BMW i8 will be released in Australia in November 2014, with limited numbers. We expect BMW will be looking at around $300k for this guilt-free hybrid super sport car.