The striking BMW i8 has been officially unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show. BMW’s alternative drive flagship is an advanced four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid with performance to match an M3 and fuel economy to humble even the most frugal Mini. Initially previewed by the Vision EfficientDynamics (Vision ED) concept back in 2009, the futuristically styled two-plus-two coupé has already undergone two years of intensive development. The result, BMW insiders describe to Autocar, is a car that drives “like nothing else”.
So this super car is hybrid?
I must say that’s right. The BMW i8 uses a modified version of the electric motor found in the i3, albeit now mounted over its front axle, and tuned to produce 129bhp and 184lb ft. And don’t worry, there’s a petrol engine too: it’s a turbocharged 1.5-litre triple, with 220bhp and 221lb ft being sent to the rear wheels. That means 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and a 155mph top speed, but 104mpg and 66g/km on the official EU fuel cycle. There are fewer batteries than on the i3, so the EV range is only around 20 miles, but the lithium-ion units can also be charged from a conventional plug in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Efficient and dynamic – the BMW i8 Concept.
Taut surfaces and precise edges form an extremely sculptural and organic surface structure. The precise lines along its flanks and BMW i “stream flow” also give the BMW i8 Concept a strong sense of powering forward even when it is standing still. The BMW i8 Concept’s doors swing upwards like wings to provide an undeniably emotional and sporting allure.
Laser Light. Leading the way to the future.
By definition, laser lighting is radically different from sunlight, and also from the various types of artificial lighting in common use today. Laser lighting is monochromatic and it is also a “coherent” light source. As a result, laser lighting can produce a near-parallel beam with an intensity a thousand times greater than that of conventional LEDs. Also, the high inherent efficiency of laser lighting means that laser headlights have less than half the energy consumption of LED headlights. Simply put, laser make the BMW i8 Concept even more efficient.
Well if you need the price for this super electric car, rumours say There’s no word yet on prices, but reckon on £100k-£120k when sales start in 2013.