2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptThe BMW i8 Concept retains much of the theatre and excitement of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept that first previewed the futuristic sports car design at Frankfurt in 2009, and starred at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne last month. Sometimes it is time to leave the city. Escape the restrictions of everyday life. The BMW i8 is an icon of progress. It combines the energizing performance of a sports car with benchmark efficiency.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptUnlike the Vision concept which utilised a diesel engine, the new 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept adopting a hybrid setup with an electric motor and a 1.5-liter gasoline unit. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine produces an astonishing 164kW of power and 300Nm of torque. To give that some perspective, the current BMW 125i is powered by a 3.0-litre inline-six with 160kW of power and 270Nm of torque – double the capacity, double the cylinders, 4kW less power, 30Nm less torque.
The 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept and the fascinating approach that underpins it embody the vision of a sustainable contemporary sports car brought to life. Its innovative plug-in hybrid concept combines the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept - fitted over its front axle - wîth a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW (220 hp)/300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at the rear.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptThe electric motor in the 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept is a full-capability unit which can also power the car on its own, if required. However, working in tandem allows the two drive systems to display their respective talents to the full, delivering the performance of a sports car but the fuel consumption of a small car.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptAssisting the petrol engine is 96kW/250Nm electric motor, which draws power from a lithium-ion battery. With a combined maximum power output of 260kW and 550Nm, the i8 Concept is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 4.6 seconds (80-120km/h in 4.0 seconds) and will go on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptThese impressive features of the German sports car are even greater considering that BMW announced a combined fuel consumption of only 2,7 liters/100 km. In terms of dimensions, the i8 Concept measures 4,6m long, 1,9m wide and 1,2m tall.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptThe great power amount offered by the new i8 is also valued by the low total mass of only 1,480 kilograms achieved by using a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body and an aluminum chassis. The Germans claim that they managed to obtain a 50/50 weight distribution by mounting the engines on each axle, this achievement bringing significant advantages.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptThe weight of every component inside the 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept has been minimised down to the very last detail, allowing the extra weight of the electric drive system and battery to be cancelled out. The 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept therefore presents the ideal environment in which to sample this very special drive concept on the road. The passengers sit - in typical sports car style - in an extremely low and enclosed position inside the CFRP-constructed Life module (mounted above the Drive module).
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept“The sporting character continues into the interior. Boasting a driver-focused environment unmatched by any BMW Group vehicle before it, the 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept immerses the driver fully in the unique driving experience. The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a new generation – pure, emotional and sustainable,” adds BMW.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptFar from just being a performance car, however, the i8 Concept can also be driven in fully electric zero-emissions mode for up to 35km. A full recharge of the battery from a standard power socket takes approximately 105 minutes.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptThe navigation system also calculates the best way to manage energy consumption for the trip to ensure that it operates at peak performance and optimal efficiency when required. Under the European driving cycle, the 2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 Concept uses fuel at a rate of just 2.7 litres/100km combined, making it one of the most fuel efficient internal combustion engined automobiles in history.
A production version of the BMW i8 Concept is expected to go on sale in Australia in 2014 with a predicted price tag of $300,000.
2014 BMW Sport Cars i8 ConceptBMW Sport Cars i8 Concept specifications:
# High performance 3-cylinder petrol engine (164 kW) in rear with i3's electric motor (limited to 96 kW) in front
# Total torque of 550 Nm (300Nm petrol engine + 250 Nm electric motor)
# 3 driving modes - electric, petrol, or both engines at once
# 1,480 kg
# 0-100kph (62mph): 4.6 seconds
# Top speed: 250kph (limited)
# 2.7 L/100km fuel economy
# 35km pure electric range
# 4 seater
# 50:50 distribution
# Market Launch: 2014