The BMW i8 Sportscar Prototype – The First Drive
What you are looking at is the i8, the new-age sports car from BMW. Although the engineers do not make any comments but they do say that this is a sports car for the real-world. Well, it does look a bit futuristic and motivates the onlooker to know more about it and the sports car measuring stick, the good old Nürburgring lap time. One look at it and you will find it very, very low. It looks like it has landed from some other planet and has aliens within. It does look strikingly different, but there is a lot more to it than just the looks.
BMW has not missed the chance to show case it early and therefore was very much there on the first day of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Finally, the long wait for plug-in hybrid sportscar came to an end for the Frankfurt crowd. You will find that the new i brand shares a lot with the i3, for example the carbonfibre passenger cell and the plug-in battery. The difference lies in the piston engine and 6-speed transmission to the rear wheels. Hence, the drive is not pure electric. The 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine under the hood makes 236 pound-feet of torque and 231 horsepower.
The visionary exterior and interior design delivers an intense driving experience. With a kerb weight of 1,490 kilograms and low low centre of gravity, one can expect a balanced weight distribution and an excellent performance. Get a fuel economy of 94 miles per gallon, thus making it a fast and efficient vehicle. One can charge at a swift pace from a 110-volt outlet in just 4 hours. You can further trim down the charge time down to 1.5 hours at BMW Charging Station. As the first plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group, this is the most advanced sports car; of the world. Standard are advanced chassis technology; Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Damper Control. The carbon wheels are optional, but the 20-inch light-alloy wheels are standard. The intelligent lightweight construction and comprehensive safety concept make the model even more special.
Prices start at a slightly high rate of $135,925, thus making it the second most expensive in the BMW range. US is expected to be the biggest market for BMW and the car will arrive in US in the spring 2014. One can choose from 4 paint finishes for the exterior and four variants for interior equipment.