Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Production BMW i8 {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

7 Mar 2014

BMW has revealed the mid engined hybrid i8 sports car after many months, years even of concepts and teasers. We first saw the i8 as the BMW Vision ED Concept in 2010, then later in 2011 as the i8 Conceptwhich featured wild futuristic styling and clear doors and bodywork in parts. Well the future is here and now, with the i8 being revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in production trim, with the styling staying (mostly) true to the concepts.

The i8 is a low, wide sports car and is easily the most striking vehicle on sale today with a serious amount of aerodynamic work leading to the overall shape. At the front there is the typical BMW kidney grille, ringed by the signature blue of the i-brand and flanked by LED and laser headlights. Yes, you read that correctly – laser headlights. BMW says the optional lights are 70 per cent more powerful than LED lights and produce a “pure white, extremely bright light that is pleasing to the eye”. The front bumper has large intakes for cooling and there is a vent in the centre of the bonnet, painted black on all colours.

At the side, the doors are now body coloured, but they still have drama as the hinge upwards off the A-pillar like those on the McLaren 12C, while there is another flash of blue and a deep sculpted aero intake at the rear of the side sill. From there back it gets really crazy, with the C-pillar and rear wheelarch split and bisected into aerodynamic spoilers and wind deflectors that continue to the rear. The rear end sees u-shaped LED lights and another blue flash of paint. Inside there is a typically efficient BMW interior, with more blue and white detailing.

The i8 is constructed of a carbon fibre reinforced plastic bodyshell sitting on a welded aluminium chassis and weighs in at a lithe 1490 kg, very light for a car like this. Power comes from a 1.5 litre three cylinder turbo engine which puts out an incredible 228 bhp. This is supplemented by an electric motor, which when combined means the i8 has 356 bhp and 420 lb/ft of torque, enough for 0 – 62 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph, achieved by the petrol motor alone. BMW says the i8 can reach 75mph in its pure electric mode.

The i8 is technically all wheel drive as the petrol motor powers the rear wheels while the electric motor powers the fronts. According to the EU fuel economy test, the i8 returns 113mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 25 g/km of CO2. BMW claims a range of 310 miles in hybrid mode, or up to 22 miles on lithium ion battery power alone.

Exact pricing information on the i8 will be released nearer to the production date later this year, but we expect it to cost around £100,000.