It’s been long in coming, but finally we get a look at the BMW i8 that was hinted at a couple of years ago, and it’s a beauty! [albeit an expensive beauty!]
The Frankfurt Motor Show is a great venue to see some of the latest vehicles, the wheels of some we hope to see hitting the road sooner rather than later. One such beauty is the BMW i8, a performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle [PHEV] aiming at the high-end performance demographic, occupied by the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. BMW’s generous application of performance-enhancing technology, as well as taking advantage of the performance and efficiency of an electric drivetrain.
The pricing has been updated for release at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and the BMW i8 is sure to impress. First, the BMW i8 will arrive in US showrooms this spring, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $135,700, a whole Toyota Yaris less than previously hinted. At this price, it is of little consolation, to Joe Driver anyway, that the BMW i8 PHEV may qualify for state or federal incentives.
BMW i8 final specifications have been revealed, as well, in a press release this morning on BMW’s Press Club. The BMW i8 doesn’t sport the typical hybrid electric powertrain, such as that we’re familiar with in the Toyota Prius, or even performance hybrids, such as the next Ferrari Enzo, which are horribly unbalanced. In order to achieve a balanced and dynamic driving experience, the perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight ratio, BMW split up the hybrid electric powertrain, putting a 1.5ℓ turbocharged i3, with a six-speed automatic transmission, on the rear axle, and a 96kW electric motor, with a two-speed automatic transmission, on the front axle. Total power output is 266kW/362hp with maximum torque of 570Nm/420lb•ft.
The BMW i8 has an electric-only range, if the driver so chooses, of up to 22 miles and 75mph, and a total range of 310 miles. Combined fuel economy rates at an incredible 94mpg which, incidentally, is the same fuel economy that the Toyota Prius PHEV garners. On the other hand, the Prius can accelerate from zero-to-sixty in a non-coffee-spilling 10.1 seconds. In the BMW i8, you better keep your joe in a sealed container.
Image © BMW