BMW i8 finally revealed at Frankfurt motor show!

BMW i8 front

BMW i8 hybrid supercar revealed as production car to go on sale later in 2013

The BMW i8 hybrid supercar has been revealed at the Frankfurt motor show, four years after the Vision EfficientDynamics concept was unveiled at the same show.

The look has mellowed in its journey from concept to reality, but the low nose and tail, flowing flanks and dramatic doors ensure the i8 looks like nothing else.

BMW i8 front three quarter

The four-seater is a little bigger than an Audi R8, at 4,689mm long, 1,942mm wide and 1,293mm high, with a 2,800mm wheelbase. But because it’s made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminium, the i8 weighs 1,490kg – that’s 70kg less than the lightest R8.

Also helping to keep weight down is the drivetrain. The rear wheels are powered by BMW’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine. It produces 228bhp and is hooked up to a six-speed auto box. The front axle uses a mid-mounted lithium-ion battery to power a 129bhp electric motor, giving a total of 357bhp.

BMW i8 rear doors open

The car has an electric range of 22 miles at up to 75mph with an overall range of 310 miles, plus 113mpg fuel economy and 59g/km CO2 emissions.

With both power sources engaged, the i8 will go from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and hit a limited 155mph.

BMW also claims that the i8 will set new handling standards. Its centre of gravity is ‘less than 460mm,’ making it the lowest of any BMW, while the firm claims that despite the i8’s novel drivetrain, it retains almost perfect 50:50 front:rear weight distribution.

BMW i8 rear three quarters

All i8s come with Dynamic Damper Control as standard, plus a host of driving modes that let you drive in a more economical or more sporting fashion.

Optional features include CFRP wheels, which save 3kg each compared to the standard-fit 20-inch alloys. If full LED headlights aren’t quite bright enough for you, there’s also the option of super-bright laser headlights that BMW claims are a world first.

BMW i8 interior

The i8 is also the first to use the same chemically hardened glass that smartphone screens are made from. BMW selected the glass for the rear window because it’s lighter, stronger and offers better sound proofing.

BMW i8 dashboard

Interior features include a free-standing display for the car’s functions and infotainment, digital dials and a head-up display.

The i8 goes on sale in late 2013, for around £100,000.

BMW i8 rear

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

THe BMW i brand will debut its third-concept – following the i8 and the i3 – at the 2012 New York Auto Show next week. Known as the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, the concept is just a drop top version of the i8, loses the two rear seats and offers some sexy convertible looks.

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

“Among the most eye-catching features of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder are the upward-swivelling, windowless doors and a range of purpose-oriented on-board equipment including electric kickboards stowed under a transparent tailgate,” BMW said in a statement. “The sports car is based around the innovative LifeDrive architecture, itself underpinned by a lightweight modular construction and the use of high-quality high-tech materials.”

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

Power for the BMW i8 Spyder Concept comes from the same setup as the coupe. A 131-hp electric-motor drives the front axle while a 1.5 liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine making 220-hp and 221 lb-ft of torque moves the rear axle. Together, the system produced 349-hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

Mated to a twin-speed transmission, the BMW i8 Spyder Concept runs from 0 to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. On a full charge of its lithium-ion battery, the BMW i8 provides all-electric driving range of approximately 20 miles with a total range of around 400 miles. BMW says that the two-seater burns just three litres of petrol per 100 kilometers, which comes out to around 78 miles per gallon.

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

So will it enter production? Most likely. One thing you can tell when you compare the i8 coupe to the i8 spider, is that the latter seems to be closer to a production version.

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

We’ll bring you live images next week from the 2012 New York Auto Show.

BMW i8 Spyder Concept

Specifications: BMW i8 Concept Spyder:

  • Length/Height/Width: L 4480 mm, H 1208 mm, W 1922 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2650 mm
  • No. of seats: 2
  • Kerb weight: 1630 kg
  • Top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph) electr. governed
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5 s 80-120 km/h (50-75 mph) 4.0 s
  • System output TwinPower Turbo engine: 260 kW / 550 Nm 164 kW / 300 Nm
  • Fuel consumption (EU cycle): 3 l/100km / 94 mpg imp
  •  eDrive
  • output electric motor: 96 kW
  • electric range: approx. 27-30 km (17 – 19 miles)
  • battery charge time: standard: 1.45 h for 100% charge approx.
  • Luggage compartment: 100 litres

BMW i8 Spyder Concept