BMW i8: Car Way Ahead of Its Time

Seems like a car from the movie Tron Legacy

The all new BMW i8 seems a car from one of the Hollywood’s sci-fi movies, which portrays the future. The futuristic and sensational looks of the i8 makes it a car ahead of its league. BMW has profoundly graded it as the most progressive sports car of our time. Clean, dynamic and highly efficient, it has set a new milestone in the hybrid class cars.

BMW i8

Taking Hybrid Technology to a new level

BMW North America president and CEO, Ludwig Willisch, at launching ceremony of i8 said that this car will challenge all supercars with its looks and performance. BMW claims that this hybrid is capable of covering up to 22 miles on electricity alone, while achieving 95 mpg, at least on the European test cycle.

BMW i8 - Hybrid

Aerodynamic model: Designed for optimum performance

Having a detailed insight to the first prototype model, the experts revealed that BMW i8 as compared to the 4-series coupe is 3.3 inches lower, 4.6 inches wider and 2 inches longer, thus it is designed for optimum performance.  The latest from the German automobile magicians has an exciting new aerodynamic sporty looks. For instance, it has scissor doors, vertically extended rear fenders while the C-pillars have lateral extensions.

The car has its radiator exhaust in the middle of the hood and air intakes at the rear end of the side sills. The paint job has really alleviated the looks of the car; the two toned paint highlights the layered design language.

BMW i8 - Technical

Exciting design: Pinnacle of German technology

The interior is roomy and comfortable, matching the same exterior layered design. The rare seat is not for seating purpose, as it is too tightly fitted. As the ignition button is pressed, the car will check the battery, and if it is sufficiently charged it will start running on electric power. BMW i8 derives the power from a 129-hp motor via a 6.0-kWh lithium-ion battery. The electric motor is controlled by a two speed gear box, and it reaches a maximum speed of 75mph.

In this mode, the car is surprisingly quiet and smooth, while it produces enough thrust to deal with the city traffic. However, the real fun starts when the accelerator is paddled; the three cylinder turbo engine kicks into action with a growl and reaches 0 to 60 in just 4.5 seconds.

BMW i8 - Exterior

Powerful engine: Perfect design

Interestingly, this engine is incredibly powerful. Although, it contains just three cylinders and transfers 1499 cc, yet it produces 228 horsepower. Moreover, this is the only car with a two-speed transmission for the electric motor. In the electric mode, the car is front drive, as the motor is connected with the front wheels alone. However, the gasoline engine is connected to the rear wheels; the engine is installed behind the cabin. BMW i8, during the extreme speeding up mode, functions on both power plants and all four wheels are run. The transformation from front to rear wheel is smooth and one can hardly notice the shift.

The weight has been perfectly distributed in the i8, and it has its center of gravity placed lower, in contrast to any other BMW. According to the project director, Carsten Breitfeld, i8 offers ideal 50/50 front to rear sharing.

The car is designed for optimum efficiency and has been introduced with narrow tires, ideal for low rolling resistance, but not best suited for high traction.

BMW i8 - Rear

Advanced technology

BMW i8 uses the Gorilla Glass, between the passenger and rear-engine compartments, for noise and weight reduction. This car is jam-packed with latest gizmos and technology, which resulted into boosting its performance.

I8 bound to create a stir

The car will be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show, during the latter half of this year. The price can be estimated around $125,000. BMW i8 will be a breather for speed junkies, and will make a nice addition in the class of C7 Corvette Stingray or Porsche 911.

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Published on: September 17, 2013

Filled Under: Autos Reviews, BMW

Views: 2227

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