BMW i8 Concept: First Look

  • Looks like: The Fisker Karma has a legit competitor
  • Defining characteristics: Electric motor up front, turbocharged gas engine out back and a lithium-ion battery in the middle
  • Ridiculous features: Huge transparent doors
  • Chances of being mass-produced: BMW says the i8 will launch in 2014

BMW is giving the idea of a sports-car hybrid a shot with its plug-in i8 concept that promises an estimated zero to 62 mph time of less than five seconds. It can fit four people and has an all-electric range of 20 miles.
 
The i8’s rear-mounted gasoline engine — a 220-horsepower, turbocharged three-cylinder — drives the rear wheels and acts as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery. The battery gives juice to the electric motor driving the front wheels, essentially creating an all-wheel-drive hybrid sports car. BMW says this setup combines the advantages of front-, rear- and all-wheel drive.
 
The lithium-ion battery can fully charge in two hours and power the i8 for 20 miles on electric-only power. To keep weight low, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic is used throughout the car, including the passenger compartment’s shell. BMW says the material is 50 percent lighter than steel but just as strong. The existing weight is balanced perfectly with 50/50 weight distribution because of the two powertrains over each drive axle.
 
Using the European driving cycle for gas mileage, BMW estimates gas mileage of 94 mpg.  As an indicator that the i8 is a sports car, BMW has separate estimates for spirited drivers, ranging from 40.4 to 56.5 mpg during hard driving.

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

By Joe Bruzek | July 29, 2011 | Comments (3)

Comments 

Max Reid

Good 1, but a competitor to Fisker Karma, it will be in 6 digit figure.

Also 20 mile EV range for an expensive car is too low.

Also see the i3 model which is pure EV and has 93 mile range.

Gil Davis

It's fun to look at but I have problems with both the design and the powerplant.
First, let's ask the question how do emergency responders get you out of it if you are in a roll over?
And second, why does this thing have a gas engine anyway? If the good folks at BMW are that forward thinking then it follows they would be going all electric instead of creating a product thats just "a little bit pregnent".
If they need inspiration they need only look to Tesla.

Awesome, Now that's I called a future car. The design is really outstanding. I am already a big fan of BMW but this BMW i8 is simply amazing.

Just eagerly waiting for it. Hoping that I would get at-least a test drive of BMW i8

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com