BMW's sleek 2+2 seater i8 plug-in hybrid sports car has made its long-awaited public début at the 2013 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. The first production BMW to feature a mid-engined layout since the fabled BMW M1, the i8 features a turbocharged 1.5 litre 3 cylinder and a secondary electric motor to provide limited electric-only propulsion.
The BMW i8
is long, wide and low, as befits a mid-engined layout, with overall length being 4689 mm, width 1942 mm and height being 1298 mm. The i8 is aerodynamically efficient too, with a cD of just 0.26. To further aid efficiency, the wheels are large 20 inch all round with slender 195/50 section rubber at the front and 215/45 at the rear. Extensive use of CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced polymer) helps keep the kerb weight down to 1490 kg.
The tiny three pot engine produces a very healthy 231 PS (170 kW) of power and 320 N·m (236 lb·ft) of torque. The eDrive electric motor adds another 131 PS (96 kW) of power and 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) of torque through the front wheels, giving a combined system output of 362 PS and 570 N·m of power and torque respectively. This endows the vehicle with a 250 km/h top speed, and a very respectable 4.4 second 0-100 km/h sprint time. CO2
emissions are claimed to be just 59 g/km.
The BMW i8 launches in the UK in July 2014 with an OTR price of £99 845, and orders start in September 2013. The price in Germany will be from €126 000, including VAT.
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