Following the world debut of the first production model, the BMW i3, the BMW Group’s next step will be to extend this revolutionary answer to the future challenges facing personal mobility to the sports car segment in the BMW i8.
Pairing an exceptionally lightweight, aerodynamically optimized body with cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology, a compact, turbocharged 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine and intelligent energy management, the BMW i8 marks the next stage in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics strategy.
According to BMW, thanks to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, the BMW i8 sets new standards for a plug-in hybrid vehicle in terms of low weight.
BMW i8 will offer the dynamic performance of a sports car, with an expected 0 – 60 mph sprint time under 4.5 seconds.
The BMW i8 was designed from the outset as a plug-in hybrid sports car, with the emphasis on agile performance and outstanding efficiency. Its characteristic BMW i LifeDrive architecture provides the best possible basis for lightweight design. Its main components are the aluminum Drive module, which incorporates the internal combustion engine and electric motor, the battery, the power electronics and the chassis components, along with structural and crash functions, and the Life module, which essentially comprises the 2+2-seater CFRP passenger cell. This architecture also gives the BMW i8 a very low center of gravity and a near-perfect 50:50 axle load ratio, both of which increase its agility.
The BMW i8 combines a drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.26 with outstanding aerodynamic balance. The finely honed air flow around all parts of the vehicle body makes for an excellent lift/drag ratio, resulting in superb driving dynamics and stability.
The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid system is specific to this model. Developed and produced by the BMW Group, it marks the next step in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics programme. A compact three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is combined with an electric drive system and a lithium-ion battery which can be recharged at a standard household power socket.
The 231 hp (170 kW) gasoline engine sends its power to the rear wheels, while the 131 hp (96 kW) electric motor powers the front wheels. This configuration offers all-electric driving capability with a range of up to approx. 22 miles (35 kilometers) and a top speed of approximately 75 mph (120 km/h). With both drive systems engaged, it also offers road-hugging all-wheel-drive performance with powerful acceleration and dynamic torque vectoring during sporty cornering. The more powerful of the two powerplants drives the rear wheels.
The hybrid system supplements this with power from the electric motor to deliver typical BMW driving pleasure combined with groundbreaking efficiency. Calculated using the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel efficiency of the BMW i8 at model launch will be less than 2.5 liters/100 km, which equates to approximately 95 miles per US gallon, with CO2 emissions of less than 59 grams per kilometer.
The motor derives its energy from the lithium-ion battery which is centrally mounted underneath the floor of the vehicle. The model-specific version of the high-voltage battery was developed and produced by the BMW Group. It has a liquid cooling system and can be recharged at a conventional household power socket, at a BMW i Wallbox or at a public charging station. In the US a full recharge takes approximately 3.5 hours from a conventional 120 volt, 12 amp household circuit or approximately 1.5 hours from a 220 volt Level 2 charger.
The BMW i8 is the world’s first volume-produced vehicle to be equipped with chemically hardened glass. This innovative technology, to date used mainly in Smartphone manufacturing, results in very high strength. The partition between the passenger compartment and boot of the BMW i8 consists of two layers of chemically hardened glass, each of which is just 0.7 millimeters thick, with acoustic sheeting sandwiched between. In addition to excellent acoustic properties, a further advantage of this solution is weight savings of around 50 percent compared with conventional laminated glass.
The BMW i8 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show and arrive in BMW showrooms in 2014.
BMW i8 Technical specifications (preliminary):
|No. of doors/seats||2 / 4|
|Length/width/height||in.mm||184.6/76.5/50.94689 / 1942 / 1293|
|Wheelbase||in. (mm)||110.2 (2800)|
|Weight, unladen (DIN)||lbs (kg)||3285 (1490)|
|Technology combustion engine||BMW TwinPower Turbo turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control|
|Config/No of cyls/valves||In-line / 3 / 4|
|Technology electric motor||BMW eDrive technology: hybrid synchronous motor with powerelectronics, integrated charging module and generator mode for recuperation|
|Drive concept||Hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, combustion engine driving the rear wheels, electric motor driving the front wheels|
|Tires front/rear||195/50 R20 / 215/45 R20|
|Rims front/rear||7J x 20 alloy / 7.5J x 20 alloy|
|Type of transmission combustion engine||6-speed automatic|
|Type of transmission electric motor||Automatic, two-stage|
|Acceleration 0–60 mph||s||< 4.5|
|50-75 mph||s||< 4.5|
|Top speed||mph (km/h)||155 (250)|
|Top speed electric||mph (km/h)||75 (120)|
|Range||miles (km)||> 310 (500)|
|Efficiency in EU cycle|