Today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled on of the most widely
anticipated cars in its history - the BMW i8. On most levels, this plug-in
hybrid 2+2 sports car is unlike any car ever introduced.
The 2015 BMW i8 is a new, cutting-edge generation of sports cars. The second model unveiled by the new BMW i brand combines a plug-in hybrid drive system with a passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and an aluminum frame for the combustion engine and electric motor, the battery pack and the suspension. With this revolutionary concept and the emotional appeal of its aerodynamically optimized body design, the 2+2-seater - which was conceived from the outset as a plug-in hybrid - paves the way for an engagingly dynamic and futuristically efficient take on BMW's hallmark driving pleasure. By cementing the brand's new premium character, strongly defined by sustainability, in the sports car segment, the new i8 also demonstrates the broad spread and universal appeal of the BMW i philosophy.
The research and development activities carried out by the BMW Group since 2007 as part of its project i initiative have laid the groundwork for a visionary car conceived with the impact of environmental, economic and social change around the world very much in mind. Alongside its conceptual and technological development work, the company has also conducted field studies looking at the use of pure-electric vehicles in everyday conditions. More than 1,000 people have taken part in the studies, racking up in excess of 32 million kilometers (20 million miles) at the wheel. The knowledge gained as a result has been channeled into the creation of innovative vehicle concepts and mobility solutions.
Thanks to its revolutionary vehicle concept and intelligent drive system management, the BMW i8 strikes the optimum balance between dynamic ability and efficiency in a variety of driving situations. The output of the engine and electric motor, the capacity of the high-voltage battery, intelligent energy management and the vehicle's overall weight are tailored to form a precisely composed package that defines the unique character of the plug-in hybrid sports car. Its all-electric driving range is sufficient to cover most urban driving requirements, and out of town, the BMW i8 offers impressively sporty performance which is also very efficient thanks to the power-boosting support for the gasoline engine from the electric motor.
The BMW i8 will arrive in US showrooms in spring of 2014 with a base Manufcturer's Suggested Retail Price of $135,925 including destination and handling.
Ultra-dynamic Exterior Design
The design of the BMW i8 body is as groundbreaking as the plug-in hybrid sports car's concept as a whole. Hallmark BMW dynamics, lightweight design and efficiency are all expressed in the car's proportions, lines and surface design. The 2+2-seater is immediately recognizable as a BMW i model and a new-generation sports car.
The front view of the BMW i8 exudes sporting ability in its purest form. Large front apron air intakes arranged over several levels generate a powerful feeling of depth. The extremely broad BMW kidney grille stretches over to the slim headlights, accentuating the width of the BMW i8 and its road-focused stance. The car's full-LED headlights adopt the hallmark U-shape of BMW i models. The dipped and high-beam light is emitted by a lens positioned on the far outer edge of the light units. The three-dimensional design of the light sources lend their appearance a sporty character.
The low-slung stance of the rear end and its horizontal, width-emphasizing lines also provide a clear showcase for the dynamic potential of the BMW i8. The rear is bordered by the sculpted rear wheel arches. The sloping rear window opens high, allowing easy access to the storage compartment located underneath. The rear lights, reflectors and rear diffuser form a single visual unit that strengthens the car's already powerful appearance. Like the headlights, the intricately designed rear light clusters also feature the characteristic BMW i U-shaped design. The directional indicators are integrated above the rear lights into the descending roofline. All of the exterior lights on the BMW i8 are LEDs.
The BMW i8 boasts a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26.
The paintwork adorning the side body panels and front and rear ends of the BMW i8 can be specified in a choice of four colors, three of which have been created exclusively for BMW i. All the paint finishes provide a striking contrast to the black band. And, depending on the color chosen, the accent surfaces on the side skirts, at the rear and on the BMW kidney grille surround come in BMW i Frozen Blue or Frozen Grey.