Just like it did with the i3, Bmw released today the first details and specs of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. At a driving event at the Bmw Group’s Miramas test track in France, the Bavarian manufacturer also presented a prototype version of the i8. Now let’s see what’s under the hood! According to the official press release, the new coupe will be powered by a 1.5-liter Bmw TwinPower Turbo petrol engine developing 231 hp (170 kW) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm.
The petrol engine is combined with an electric drive system and a lithium-ion battery which can be recharged at a standard household power socket. The electric motor delivers 131 hp (96 kW) and 250 Nm of torque. Bmw says that the electric motor powers the front wheels, while the petrol engine delivers all the power to the rear wheels.
Combined maximum power and torque of 266 kW/362 hp and 570 Newton metres of torque. As a result, the Bmw i8 is able to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h or 155 mph. Still, the Bmw i8 can act as an electric car for up to 35 km (22 miles) and has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) using just electricity. In the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel consumption of the Bmw i8 will be less than 2.5 liters/100 km (over 113 mpg) with CO2 emissions of less than 59 grams per kilometer.
Apparently, these numbers come from the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, but also due to the Bmw I LifeDrive architecture that provides the best possible basis for lightweight design. According to Bmw, this architecture gives the i8 a very low centre of gravity and a near perfect 50:50 axle road ratio. The Bmw i8 has length of 4,689 mm, a width of 1,942 mm and a height of 1,293 mm, but also a wheelbase of 2,800 mm.
The BMW i8 combines a drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.26 with outstanding aerodynamic balance. The finely honed air flow around all parts of the vehicle body makes for an excellent lift/drag ratio, resulting in superb driving dynamics and stability. As a finishing touch to this excellent weight distribution, the lithium-ion battery pack is centrally located in the vehicle, slightly forward of the mid-point. In terms of crash safety, this is an ideal location for the battery, which is integrated in an aluminium housing.
The Bmw i8 offers three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and ECO PRO. In the Comfort mode, the i8 offers a balance between sporty performance and fuel efficiency, while the Sport mode, the engine and electric motor deliver extra-sharp performance.
In the ECO PRO mode the i8 coordinates the cooperation between the petrol engine and the electric motor for maximum fuel economy. The maximum driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a fully charged battery is over 500 kilometres (310 miles) in COMFORT mode. In ECO PRO mode, this can be increased by up to 20 per cent.