BMW’s i8 supercar is just having its finishing touches put to it. The car is now in production stage so the details of what will be on offer to the customer can be revealed.
The car will weigh 1450 kilos and will be a plug-in hybrid electric. It will be very close in design to the concept car. This means a low 2+2 with wing like rear spoilers and pop-up doors. It will have a 170 bhp electric motor which will drive the front wheels and a turbocharged 1.5 litre three cylinder driving the rear wheels which will give 223 bhp and 205 lb ft torque.
There will be no petrol version of the car. This is because it would have needed a V8 or V10 engine which they are no longer considering as part of the programme.
There is a black box inside which will allow the car to have the options of front, rear or all wheel drive. There are also torque vectoring chips which should help the car to be very dynamic indeed.
Once the battery is fully charged the car can do about 20 miles with no emissions and in silence. However with the total 393 horses and 406lb ft of torque from the main engine it will be able to do 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and it will have a top speed if 156mph.
The European driving circle works out the fuel consumption to be 104.2mpg and this ignores the energy needed to charge the battery. The i8 has a four speed gearbox which allows it to deal with its broader performance unlike the i1, i3 and i5 which all have single speed transmission which is directly mated to the e-motor.
The battery takes six hours to recharge although high voltage mains connection will allow it to charge in less than 60 minutes.
The car will cost more than 100,000 Euros. Despite this BMW still expect that they will sell around 10,000 a year.
The i8 is similar to the other I vehicles in that it has a carbonfibre body and aluminium rolling chassis which are the Life and Drive middles.
The I range all have driver assistance systems as well. These include one pedal control, park assist, active brake control, navigation assist, range assist, congestion assist and precondition assist. The one pedal control accelerates, decelerates and coasts. The park assist uses automatic navigation. The active brakes have pedestrian recognition and work on speeds up to 40mph. The navigation assist connects with local train and bus services just in case you need them. The range assist shows all charge points within range and will take you there if you ask it. The congestion assist includes active steering and works at speeds up to 25 mph. The precondition assist uses smartphone to cool down, heat and charge.