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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

BMW I8 concept model review

era is dawning in the world of the sports car. Frankfurt is clearly to be the birthplace of a new generation of sporting automobile. BMW have revealed their contribution, the hotly anticipated i8 plug in hybrid sports car on home turf. i8 joins the i3 in BMW’s dynamic duo of future-proof motoring, the former being it’s interpretation of what a sports car can look like in a rapidly changing, more environmentally conscious automotive world.

Keeping it up to speed with its petroleum powered contemporaries the i8 is motivated by a 1.5 litre three cylinder twin power turbocharged engined mounted in the rear producing around 230 bhp and 320 nm of torque exported to the rear wheels via a six speed automatic gearbox. In tandem with the gasoline powered engine, an electric motor gives power to the front wheels to the tune of 130 bhp and 250nm of torque making a combined output of 360BHP and 450nm of torque. A short ratio gearbox for the electric motor, the punch of the turbos and the efforts of a 3rd 10kw motor in the rear (to fill in for torque when the turbos aren’t spooled)  gives rise to a commendable 0-62 time of around 4.5 seconds (a couple of seconds shy of a PDK 991 Carrera S) before hitting BMWs electronic buffers at 155MPH.

Looks wise, we have something akin to BMWs vision for an R8 competitor though dynamically and philosophically this isn’t the case. The i8 can lend its exotic looks to its carbon tubbed, rear engine layout which means the boxy design dictated by a front engined layout is not necessitated. The i8 has an exotic demeanor to it which successfully sells the environmentally friendly philosophy as one that can still be sexy. There’re plenty of cues from the M1 homage concept too! No bad thing!
In zero emission, all electric mode the i8 is capable of 22 miles before the engine cuts in, and a top speed of 75 MPH. Although those numbers seem minimal, the carbon tubbed 1490 kilogram hybrid is reported to achieve outstanding economy figures of 115MPG (UK) and 59g/km of C02. Interesting practical note: the i8 seems to be able to comfortably seat 4. More exposure to the vehicle will determine the truth of that.

I personally can’t wait to see this car pit against its conventional petroleum powered rivals! It will make for interesting testing!
What do we think of the i8, now its finally with me?


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