The new Bmw i8 will make its debut in production version at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, which will open its doors in September and where 4WheelsNews team will be present too. The new i8 will be presented along with the smaller i3, Bmw’s take on affordable electric vehicles. If the Bmw i3 will be marketed as the perfect electric car for cities, the i8 plug-in hybrid coupe will take on the big boys such as Porsche and Ferrari.
Although the Bmw i8 is capable to get the equivalent of 80 mpg, the Bavarian manufacturer will not market the coupe as a rival of the Tesla Model S electric car. These words came from BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch. "We aren't talking supertanks," said Willisch, referring to the Tesla's curb weight of 4,647 pounds.
"We are talking supercars." Bmw didn’t release yet the specifications for the i8, but the concept version weighs about 3,200 pounds. The Bmw i8 will be a 2+2 seater with gullwing doors and will go on sale in the United States in the second quarter of 2014. Despite its fuel efficiency, the i8 will compete with supercars with its looks and driving performance.
Bmw i8 will be powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that generates 220 hp, but also by an electric motor delivering 131 hp. With these numbers, the i8 will zoom from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in less than five seconds. Pricing will start at more than $110,000 and according to sources it could go as high as $150,000.
The layout of the BMW i8 body is as unprecedented as the plug-in hybrid sports vehicle’s concept. Trademark BMW dynamics, lightweight structure, and efficiency are all featured in the vehicle’s parts, lines, and surface layout. The 2+2 seater is easily identifiable as a BMW i model and a modern sports vehicle.
The design of overlapping and interlinked surfaces gave added prominence by the car’s color scheme and also adds to the distinctive look of the BMW i8. This layering concept permits aerodynamics forms to be completed in an innovatively styled package, while robust formed wheel arches highlights the wide track feature of the BMW i8.
The compact design differentiating both the electric motor and combustion engine allows the front and rear sections of the car to have a significantly low-slung look and thus highlight its dynamically stretched flanks. The doors, which open forward and upward like wings, add intrigue to the sports car layout of the BMW i8.