Wendy Bounds of Wall Street Journal takes a tour of the BMW i8 at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Ms. Bounds was accompanied by Ludwig Willisch, the new CEO of BMW USA. BMW i8 goes on sale in 2014 and it represents BMW’s first attempt at the high-end market of cars in form of a hybrid. Mr. Willisch spends some time explaining the technology of the i8, but here is a recap of what we already know and reported before.
Initially previewed by the Vision EfficientDynamics concept back in 2009, the two-door i8 has already undergone over two years of intensive development. The car is powered by a 1.5 liter petrol engine replacing the initial diesel unit of same capacity. The engine is mounted at the rear and drives via a dual-clutch gearbox. The i8 Concept combines the advantages of two different drive systems – an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is not a secondary power source, but rather an equal partner of the internal combustion engine.
The weight of 1480kg is the equivalent to a power-to-weight ratio of 236 horsepower per 1000 kilograms.
BMW i8 measures 4632mm in length, 1955mm in width and 1280mm in height, comparable to the 3 Series coupe in dimensions. A 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time comes under five seconds, with a combined fuel consumption in the European test cycle of less than 3 liters/100 km (78 MPG) and average real fuel consumption of between five and seven liters (33 – 47 MPG).
The BMW i8 is expected to debut in early 2014 and the price speculations fall around the $160,000m mark.