The BMW i8 hybrid supercar promises to be the perfect blend of sports car performance with environmental concern. This futuristic vision efficient car is capable of travelling 15 to 25 kilometres on electricity alone, then supplementing its small three-cylinder engine with electric “boost” according to Cars Guide.
This revolutionised sports car with 1.5L turbo petrol + electric, 266kW/570Nm engine, six-speed direct-shift, AWD transmission that runs in 2.1L/100km euro cycle can be bought from a starting price of $135,700.00 in the US.
According to MSN Car, electric cars are generally quick off the mark. The i8 combines a 96kw electric motor driving the front wheels with a 1.5-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine (producing 228hp) driving those at the rear. On electric power alone, the i8 can be driven at up to 75mph and has a maximum range of 22 miles, but the petrol engine will kick in during heavier throttle inputs for maximum performance. Combined, the systems produce 357hp which, with a 1,490kg kerb weight (35kg less than a Porsche 911 Carrera 4), gives the i8 a 0 to 62mph time of just 4.4 seconds and a limited 155mph top speed.
BMW i8 can be driven down a twisty B road. Its light weight, rigid carbon-fibre-based body and low-slung feel (it has the lowest centre of gravity of any BMW) combine to create a very satisfying driving experience. Switch from Comfort to Sport mode and the car’s suspension, throttle response and steering are all sharpened for improved feedback, as well as providing the driver with maximum boost from the electric motor. The ride quality is good and it’s remarkably quiet on the move, caused by lack of any serious noise from the relatively slim tyres (215/45 on the front, 245/40 on the rear).
MSN Car also said that all-electric 22-mile maximum range soon dissipates if one will use the i8’s available performance, but it can be recharged from a three-pin household plug from 0 to 80% in less than three hours.
For a £20 annual fee, BMW will also offer i8 owners membership to the BMW ChargeNow system, giving them access to the UK’s largest network of charging stations under a pay-as-you-go system.
BMW i8’s architecture is a combination of aluminium and carbon-fibre. Its rigidity is obvious and BMW claims that the i8 performs well in side-impact and frontal offset crash tests. Below is a table from Auto Spies that shows specs and price of the new i8 hybrid.