After introducing the i8 and i3, BMW seems determined to take its plug-in hybrid cars to the next level. As a result, BMW managers met with Tesla Motors executives in order to discuss electric cars. The German carmaker confirmed the fact that there was a meeting on Wednesday with Tesla, but declined to make any comment.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s Elon Musk also confirmed talks with other car manufacturers, including BMW. Musk said that the discussion were about how to promote electric vehicle and how to make better use of the German charging stations network. For those who don’t know, Tesla operates the network of German charging stations in cooperation with rail company Deutsche Bahn.
As we said, BMW currently offers the i3, a perfect electric vehicle developed for a crowded city. The i3 uses an electric motor that delivers 170 hp (125 kW) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft of torque). Power is delivered to the rear wheels and the BMW i3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds, while top speed is limited at 150 km/h or 93 mph.
BMW also offers a Range Extender for the i3, that consists of a 650cc two-cylinder four-stroke petrol engine developing 34 hp. Thanks to the two-cylinder engine, range is increased from 80-100 miles (129-160 km) to 160-186 miles (257-300 km).
BMW i8 is powered by a 1.5-liter twin-turbo petrol engine that develops 231 hp (170 kW) and 320 Nm of torque, as well as by an electric motor that generates 131 hp (96 kW) and 250 Nm of torque. With a total output of 362 hp (266 kW) and 570 Nm, the BMW i8 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds, while top speed is limited at 250 km/h or 155 mph.
The BMW i8 needs only 2.5 liters of fuel to travel 100 km (over 113 mpg). Tesla’s Model S Performance gets a peak motor power of 416 hp (310 kW) as well as 600 Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.2 seconds, while top speed is 130 mph or 210 km/h. Tesla’s performances are achieved with zero CO2 emissions.
New BMW i8 represents an embodiment of a new generation of sports cars, as evident on its ultra-dynamic proportions and low-slung silhouette, as well as on its sporty lines and groundbreaking design features. The new BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car still comes with a number of signature styling elements typical of BMW vehicles while donning a new design language developed specially for BMW i cars. Combined, these styling elements give the new BMW i8 a progressive appearance that promptly conveys its performance, efficiency and premium character.
As designed, the BMW i8 is first sports car in the world to be created with sustainability in mind -- from concept to the actual vehicle.
As it is, the expressive appearance of the new BMW i8 traces its roots from the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. This study was further refined and was the basis of the BMW i8 Concept that was revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The BMW i8 Concept eventually paved way – with minimal revisions – for the BMW i8 final production version. Both the exterior and interior of the new BMW i8 represents a dramatic interpretation of the Sheer Driving Pleasure for which BMW is renowned. The looks of the new BMW i8 is defined by consistent surfaces, clean minimalist lines, crisp edges and a number of function-focused details.
The new i8 marks the second series-produced BMW i model that is finally hitting the road. With this, the new i8 confirms the versatile character of the BMW I design language. Both the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and the BMW i3 all-electric car are guided by a design that conveys not only efficiency and lightness, but also safety and pure driving pleasure.