BMW i8: Full Details, Photos and Video
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car has been officially revealed today ahead of its official world debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Based on the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept car first displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, the BMW i8 is two-plus-two seat coupe that combines an electric powertrain that drives the front axle and an internal-combustion engine that drives the rear axle.
Scheduled to go on sale in 2014, the BMW i8 promises to be faster than an M3 yet can average three liters per 100 km (78.4 mpg US or over 94 mpg UK).
Unlike the standard urban-orientated i3, the BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid, with a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder powerplant mounted up front and putting out 220-hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, combined with 96Kw (131-hp) electric motor.
BMW claims that i8 can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.6 seconds (0.3 seconds faster than an M3), while top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h (155 miles per hour).
As with the i3, the BMW i8 is based around a light but highly resilient CFRP (carbonfiber reinforced plastic) body structure and rides on a predominantly aluminum chassis. Its “stream flow” lines, characteristic of the new BMW ‘i’ sub-brand, include an adaptation of the BMW twin-kidney grille and extremely slim LED headlamps. The roof is transparent, as are portions of the side of the car.
The BMW i8 is capable of running exclusively on electric power in front-wheel-drive mode for distances up to 35 km (20 miles). At higher speeds and/or when the battery charge is depleted, the gasoline engine kicks in to provide added performance in four-wheel-drive mode.
The batteries are housed in the tunnel between the passenger seats take less than two hours to completely recharge.
BMW i8 measures 4632mm in length, 1955mm in width and 1280mm in height, comparable to the 3 Series coupe in dimensions. The weight of 1480kg is the equivalent to a power-to-weight ratio of 236 horsepower per 1000 kilograms.
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