BMW finally revealed this sports car for which we waited anxiously. It combines sports performance with a lightweight construction and high efficiency. This 2+2 vehicle is the first plug-in hybrid produced by the German car manufacturer and the second model from new brand BMW i.
This sports car is made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum, features a sleek design which gives it a drag coefficient of only 0.26, a low center of gravity (under 460 millimeters), and weighs just 1490kg (3285lbs). The optional 20-inch carbon fiber wheels also help reduce even more the weight over the 20-inch light-alloy wheels.
The power-train comprises a 3-cylinder, 1.5-liter, turbocharged petrol engine that develops 231PS (170kW or 228bhp) and 320Nm (236lb/ft) with the power going to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, and an electric motor with 131PS (96kW or 129bhp) and 250Nm (184lb/ft). The torque generated by the electric motor goes to the front wheels through a two-stage automatic transmission.
The system output sits at 362PS (266kW or 357bhp) and 570Nm (420lb/ft). This more than enough to accelerate the car to 100km/h (62mph) in 4.4 seconds, while having an average fuel consumption of just 2.5l/100km (112.99 UK mpg or 94.09 USA mpg).
When using just electric power, the i8 has a range of up to 35 kilometres (22 miles) and a top speed of 120km/h (75mph), thank to the 5kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Together, both power units allow for a 500 kilometer (310 miles) range. BMW offers five driving modes, depending on what you feel like doing, from a pure electric mode, to the Sport mode.
Almost everything that you find in other BMW can also be found in the i8. There's a navigation system, air conditioning, Park Distance Control, cruise control system with braking function, rain sensor and Intelligent Emergency Call function. As an option you can have the High Beam Assistant, a rear view camera, Surround View, Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display, Collision Warning with pedestrian recognition and braking function, Head-Up Display, BMW Online Entertainment, Concierge Services, and Real Time Traffic Information.