Today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled one 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. It was also announced that the 2014 BMW i8 will have a manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $135,700 plus destination and handling when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014. This is before any federal or state incentives for which the i8 may qualify.
The BMW i8 at a glance
- First plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group and world’s most forward-looking sports car; revolutionary interpretation of BMW’s hallmark driving pleasure; groundbreaking premium character clearly defined in terms of sustainability.
- 2+2-seater with LifeDrive architecture developed specifically for BMW i, aerodynamically groundbreaking body design and visionary interior design deliver an intense driving experience; Life module passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP); drive system technology, high-voltage battery, chassis, and crash and structural functions integrated into the aluminum Drive module; curb weight: 3,285 lbs (1,490 kg); Cd: 0.26; very low center of gravity (below 18 inches/460 millimeters); well-balanced weight distribution.
- Emotion-led visual impression based around established BMW i design language; classical sports car proportions and fresh interpretation of BMW design features; doors open upwards like wings; clean lines, plus surface design (external and internal) based on the layering principle; full-LED headlights as standard, innovative laser headlights – unique worldwide – available as an option where regulations allow.
- Plug-in hybrid system developed and produced by the BMW Group represents the latest development stage of Efficient Dynamics; debut for three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, displacement: 1.5 liters, output: 170 kW/228 hp, maximum torque: 320 Nm (236 lb-ft); power sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox; model-specific hybrid synchronous electric motor, output: 96 kW/129 hp, maximum torque: 250 Nm (184 lb-ft); power channeled through the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission; lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling and usable capacity of 5 kWh.
- First combination of BMW TwinPower Turbo and BMW eDrive technology plus intelligent energy management produce system output of 266 kW/357 hp (max. torque: 570 Nm / 420 lb-ft) and give the BMW i8 the performance characteristics of a pure-bred sports car (0 –60 mph in 4.2 seconds) combined with fuel economy and emissions comparable to a small car – EU fuel consumption: 2.5 litres per 100 km / 94 mpg (US); “glued-to-the-road” AWD driving experience with torque distribution geared towards optimized dynamics.
- Driving Experience Control switch and eDrive button allow driver to choose from five driving modes; range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) on electric power alone and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph); COMFORT mode offers optimum balance between dynamics and efficiency; combined range in everyday conditions: over 500 kilometers (310 miles); SPORT mode with ultra-intense boost function provided by the electric motor; ECO PRO mode can be used in both all-electric mode and hybrid mode.
- Sophisticated chassis technology featuring a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle; Electric Power Steering; Dynamic Damper Control comes as standard; 20-inch light-alloy wheels are standard.
- Intelligent lightweight construction with elements including a CFRP passenger cell, doors with a CFRP-aluminum structure, an instrument panel with magnesium support, an aluminum chassis and a partition between the passenger compartment and boot made from thin glass; comprehensive safety concept and an ultra-torsionally stiff passenger cell.
- Extensive standard equipment includes the Navigation system Professional with proactive drive system for all-electric driving, fully-digital instrument display, BMW iDrive with freestanding Control Display and leather sports seats; choice of four exterior paint finishes and four interior equipment variants.
- Wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive features: Park Distance Control, cruise control system with braking function, rain sensor and Intelligent Emergency Call function, driver assistance package with High Beam Assistant, a rear view camera, Surround View, Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display, and Collision Warning with pedestrian recognition and braking function; also available are the Head-Up Display, BMW Online Entertainment, Concierge Services, Real Time Traffic Information and mobility services developed specifically for BMW i, e.g. intermodal route guidance as standard.
- All-embracing sustainability concept running like a thread through the value chain; carbon fiber production and vehicle assembly using 100-per cent renewable electricity; high proportion of recycled materials; use of materials manufactured and treated in an environmentally friendly manner.
BMW i8: The sports car of the future
BMW i stands for the creation of pure-bred vehicle concepts, sustainability throughout the value chain, complementary mobility services and a fresh understanding of premium defined squarely in terms of sustainability. And now the BMW Group can unveil the BMW i8 – a new, cutting-edge generation of sports car. 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.
The perfect balance of performance and fuel consumption: the BMW i8 represents an exciting new landmark in Efficient Dynamics.
The BMW i8 offers a revolutionary and future-focused interpretation of BMW’s signature driving pleasure – and in so doing, makes its case as the world’s most progressive model in the sports car segment. The plug-in hybrid drive system developed and manufactured by the BMW Group especially for the BMW i8 represents a new stage of evolution in the Efficient Dynamics development strategy.
The BMW Group launched Efficient Dynamics over a decade ago with the aim of significantly enhancing the performance characteristics and efficiency of every new BMW Group model. Efficient Dynamics incorporates both the evolution of existing technology and the use of revolutionary new drive system concepts. For example, efficient vehicle concepts focusing on lightweight design and aerodynamics, dynamic drive systems featuring both BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and BMW eDrive, and intelligent management of energy consumption within the vehicle are applied in various current BMW models. BMW i cars benefit from the introduction of revolutionary new technology which subsequently finds its way into the models produced by the core brands of the BMW Group.
As a world-leading supplier of premium cars and, increasingly, also premium services, the BMW Group is playing an active and defining role in the changing face of personal mobility. And awareness of issues such as resource scarcity, climate change and creeping urbanization is also growing among the public. The BMW Group’s commitment to sustainability has long been a key element of its corporate strategy and is one of the fundamental principles enforced throughout the company’s value chain, as independent studies have regularly confirmed. The BMW Group has been named the “world’s most sustainable automobile manufacturer” in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years.