A BMW i8 Vision EfficientDynamics was spotted during winter testing in Sweden. The plugin-hybrid sportscar will launch in 2014 and it’s currently undergoing extensive testing.
When it was first unveiled to the world at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW introduced the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept with a 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine rear/mid-mounted. The diesel engine was said to be aided by a second electric motor residing between the turbodiesel engine and the 6-Speed DCT gearbox. The 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine outputs 163 horsepower and 214 lb-ft. of torque. The rear-mounted electric motor produces 33 horsepower continuously(51 hp peak) and maximum torque of 214 lb-ft. The synchronous electric motor placed at the front axle constantly outputs 80 horsepower. Extra power of 112 hp is available for 30 seconds and for 10 seconds, 139 horsepower. Total torque: 162 lb-ft.
In a recent interview, Dr. Klaus Draeger, Head of R&D, said a gasoline engine will be used instead in conjunction with the electric motors, most likely one of the new four-cylinder turbo engines or a brand-new three-cylinder co-developed with BMW Motorrad.
The car spotted in Sweden is most likely the same prototype we had a chance to ride in last year when BMW offered an exclusive preview at the Leipzig plant. At the time, BMW engineers said the car was running at 60 percent of its full power potential.
BMW i8 will be built under the umbrella of Project i and assembled at the Leipzig plant in Germany. Speaking at the official launch of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe in London last year, Ian Robertson indicated that the price for BMW i8 would be “less than £150,000 ($240,000),” which suggests a U.S. price of around $200,000. This puts the BMW VED in a segment with the upcoming 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell.