BMW sees the United States as the largest sales market for its new BMW i8 plug-in hybrid supercar, the car's product manager, Hendrik Wenders, told Automobilwoche. Wenders also sees the United Kingdom, Germany and France as the largest sales markets for the car in Europe. BMW i8’s product manager says the car is targeted towards men who are at least 35 years old and are high-earning and technology-savvy.
BMW i8 prototype has been showcased at a test facility in Miramas, France. Development engineers expect the plug-in hybrid supercar to be launched in around nine months with a simultaneous rollout at dealerships worldwide. Wenders said BMW i will sell the i8 in around 50 countries around the world, with an online sales option.
Interested buyers could acquire the BMW i8 online just like the i3 electric car, through a call center or via salespeople who will pay a visit to a customer's home to complete the purchase.
According to Wenders, BMW is still determining whether to offer i8 customers with their choice of another BMW model if they are onto a long journey. i3 owners can borrow a 5 series for the long journeys on weekend as part of BMW's 360 Degree Electric service program.
The production version of the BMW i8 is set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in August 2013, two after the concept was presented at the show in 2011. The production i8 will have dimensions of nearly 4700mm in length, in 1940mm width and around 1300mm in height.
Its wheelbase measures 2800mm. The BMW i8 will be powered by an electric motor that delivers 131hp to the front axle and a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine that provides up to 231hp to the rear wheels. Combined, the Bmw i8 boasts of 362 hp in output, which is enough to allow it to accelerate from zero to 100kph in less than 4.5 seconds and achieve an electronically limited top speed of 250kph.