The BMW i8 is probably the most futuristic plug-in hybrid sports car available on the market and it appears that many people sees it this way as the German coupe sees high demand. In order to reduce waiting time, which is currently 18 months, BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson said that the carmaker may have to increase production.
The BMW i8 is produced at company’s factory in Leipzig Germany and it appears that the manufacturer didn’t expect to see the i8 becoming too popular and planned the vehicle as a low-volume model. BMW managed to deliver 760 i8 sports cars this year and the Bavarian manufacturer is expected to increase production to 4,318 units next year.
For those who don’t know, the BMW i8 is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine that generates 231 hp (170 kW) and 320 Nm of torque, which powers the rear wheels. In addition, the i8 is fitted with an electric motor that produces 131 hp (96 kW) and 250 Nm of torque that powers the front wheels.
The total output delivered by the hybrid system is 362 hp (266 kW) and 570 Nm of torque. The BMW i8 is able to accelerate form 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds, while top speed is 155 mph or 250 km/h. Using just the energy stored in the lithium-ion battery, the i8 offers a range of 20 miles (32 km) and a top speed of 75 mph or 120 km/h.
The groundbreaking design of the new BMW i8 body plug-in hybrid sports car elegantly matches its concept as a whole. Its proportions, lines and surfaces tell a story about its hallmark BMW dynamics, efficiency and lightweight design. Furthermore, its design makes the i8 easily identifiable not only as a new-generation sports car but also as a BMW i model.
BMW employed a layering principle – in which surfaces overlap and interlock each other to form a structure – to give the i8 its distinctive appearance. This layering principle, as emphasized further by the car's color scheme, allowed the i8’s aerodynamic forms to be wrapped up in a progressively styled package. They also help create powerfully formed wheel arches that focus the eyes of onlookers to the i8’s wide track.
Furthermore, the compact construction of the new i8 helps distinguish both the electric motor and combustion engine while allowing its front and rear sections of the car to have a low-slung design and highlight its stretched flanks. The new i8 also reveals an intriguing sports car design through its wing-like doors that open forwards and upwards.
As a BMW i car, the new i8 features the signature "black belt" that develops in a "V" shape from the hood, flows over the roof and end at the rear section. This black belt frames the center section of the rear apron, and is overlapped by the "floating" roof pillars that extend over the rear lights.
On the front, this black belt is framed by the body-colored apron and side panels. The new i8 also features another signature BMW i element – the "stream flow" contour of the side window styling. This stream flow doesn’t provide a stylish flair but also decides the route take by the air between the falling roofline and the character line that rises through the rear flanks to the rear spoiler lip.