Print 30 comment(s) - last by someguy123.. on Mar 16 at 7:53 PM

BMW sees impressive demand for high-end i8 hybrid

BMW has found success early on with its hybrid sports car called the i8. The car will enter series production in April with customer delivers starting in June.
In statement, BMW explained, "Demand for the BMW i8 is already exceeding the planned production volume during ramp-up."
The catch to this statement is that BMW hasn't said exactly how many of the cars it plans to produce.

The gas engine in the car is a small 3-cylinder unit that produces 231 hp with the help of a turbo. The electric motor in the car drives the front wheels and is a 96kw unit. The i8 will produce a combined 362 hp from its hybrid powertrain. BMW promises a total driving range of 373 miles.
The i8, like its cheaper i3 sibling, will make extensive use of carbon fiber to keep weight down. The waste materials used in the construction of the i3 and i8 will be use to make carbon fiber wheels, drive shafts, and steering wheels.
The i8 hybrid sports car is priced at nearly $136,000.

Source: Reuters

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top class
By JohanMe on 3/13/2014 1:50:32 PM , Rating: 3
I did a testdrive with a P85 from Tesla and can tell you the acceleration on this thing is brutal. The acceleration starts immediately without any timelag.
I can see a future for the i8, but in my opinion it is simply too expensive in comparison with the Tesla.
I cannot see who they will sell the i3 to. It is really really ugly. From the outside but even worse also from the inside. But hey I could be wrong. I think the same thing about the Prius and they sold a shitl$$d of those.

RE: top class
By GTVic on 3/13/2014 2:32:18 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla has to sell cars and BMW can always lower their prices. But for now BMW can afford to sell high to recover their investment.

RE: top class
By purerice on 3/13/2014 8:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, with a market cap of $66billion and making $6billion/year, BMW can afford to do as they like. Ironically despite having a market cap of barely double Tesla, the i8 and i3 lines alone can outsell Tesla.

As for the OP calling the i3 ugly, it is not the most appealing car. I personally don't care for it but I also did not like the Prius when it first came out but it grew on me. I kind of like it now. The i3 looks like a cross between a snake and a bulldog, but that look may grow on me too.

Maybe the OP is just jealous of BMW's success or the people who can afford to drive such expensive cars.

RE: top class
By GTVic on 3/13/2014 2:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
Also, since many BMW dealers also sell Minis, the i3 won't look out of place on the car lot.

RE: top class
By BZDTemp on 3/13/2014 2:52:40 PM , Rating: 1
I'd rather have an i3 than one of those Mini's. The Mini's are an insult to the original and so much form over substance that it is sickening.

RE: top class
By Wiggy Mcshades on 3/13/2014 5:49:20 PM , Rating: 1
I have never found someone so against minis, but in all honesty I haven't searched all that hard. It's literally the best car I've ever owned. I have yet to find someone who owns one and doesn't love it to death, but maybe you have to love it before you even consider buying it. I think its a very well thought out car, but to each their own I guess.

RE: top class
By BZDTemp on 3/14/2014 2:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
Here is what bugs me about the BMW Mini's.

They took a motoring icon and used the love for it as a marketing platform. The original Morris Mini was amazing in that it really introduced the world to the idea of a front engine mounted transversely with front wheel drive and using that very compact packaging to create a light, compact, cheap and very fun car. It's curb weight was like 1400 lbs and with a wheels really in each corner so even in it's base model they were not just cheap and economic to run they were also fun. In comparison the BMW Mini is not really small, it weighs almost twice the original and instead of being a genius creation it is like a cartoon exaggeration of the old right down to styling elements like the center mounted dashboard.

The BMW Mini is not a bad car in it's own right. Some will call it fun other will call it's styling a bit loud and silly, but when you realize how much it's a copy of the original only without the genius and great values then it is sad to see how much it is marketing and not substance. And it's going on with every detail, be it the optional Union Jack roof paint, the barn doors of the Clubman version, the Cooper version... not only did BMW create their over sized cartoon version of the icon they made it a fashion item and a milking every piece of it's history in the process.

There is only really one thing I can think of in BMW's defense and that is the fact that Volkswagen did it first with the Beetle. The original was a post WWII cheap simple rear engine car meant to making cars available to the people and thus in many ways a sort of European Model T, but then in 1997 came the New Beetle. It copied the looks of the original, but wasn't cheap or simple and just like the Mini it's a product made from marketing meant to exploit the love for the original.

RE: top class
By someguy123 on 3/16/2014 7:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say that applies to BMW in general. The brand has gone from a luxury status symbol to a working class leaser as the brand has been "reimagined" for profitability and market penetration. I don't really see the appeal of BMW over other manufacturers, especially with the high repair costs.

This is not news
By DT_Reader on 3/13/2014 12:34:44 PM , Rating: 3
It's BMW's business model. They always produce fewer than they could sell of every car they offer so that demand always outstrips supply. That's MB's business model, too, BTW. It enables them to maintain constant production and sales through bad times as well as good. When GM and Toyota and the rest are cutting back production and laying off workers, the Germans keep rolling along same as ever. It could have something to do with German labor laws, or it could have something to do with artificial scarcity keeping prices high, or perhaps both. Whatever the reason, it works for them.

BMW i8
By jessicaishome on 3/16/2014 12:09:52 AM , Rating: 2
looking forward to the BMW i8, it sounds like BMW has done their homework. Tesla is nice to drive but it is already a dinosaur. the electronics in the Tesla is a joke. the display is low quality, they rely on G3 connection even though G4 has been out since production. the radio is terrible and cannot be switched out for something else since it is tied into the electronics. when asked if it can be updated i was told it will stay with the current models forever even if they need to be switched out at a future date. when one thinks of an electric auto one needs to care about the electronics.
the Tesla is a good looking auto but getting in and out is important, especially as one becomes older or is on the heavier side. i find the door entry too narrow. even if one is thin it is easy to soil clothes against it, i feel.
in regards to electric autos i also wonder how long they will exist due to toxic batteries. it seems the future is hydrogen fuel cells, much less expensive and not toxic like all those batteries and hydrogen is part of the air we breath and can also be produced by solar panels leaving fresh oxygen to be pumped through your home. with all the batteries a Tesla uses i wonder what the world will be like when it is time to dispose of them as well as in creating the toxic batteries. in the next 6-9 months i understand both Honda and Toyota have confirmed hydrogen fuel cell autos. if all of this is true, why would one waste such high monies on batteries which also require inconvenient charging stations when hydrogen can be pumped at stations just like gasoline. right now only the rich can afford a Tesla so i imagine they do not care since they will dispose of their Teslas in less than three years, many in two years or less thus making them someone else's problem, in the mean time they enjoy the government perks like car pool/hov lanes and tax write-offs and false notoriety of being green... batteries are FAR From GREEN...

By DukeN on 3/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: Translation
By Brandon Hill on 3/13/2014 11:43:06 AM , Rating: 5
Nah, this is something different.

The Ford Focus, Fiat 500e, Fit EV, Mini Cooper EV, etc. all fit your statement. They are "minimal investment, minimal risk" ways to create an EV. They're all based on existing platforms.

Vehicles like the Tesla Model S, the BMW i3, and BMW i8 are all dedicated, purpose built electric vehicles that took a LOT of research, investment, manpower, and $$$ to develop. They are doing this way because they actually see a future for EVs, rather than just bowing to government pressure.

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Translation
By gookpwr on 3/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: Translation
By cknobman on 3/13/2014 2:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
A. Audi R8 and Lambo's are not the same price
B. The performance of the i8 is quite decent. Here is a published quote about it performance:
The i8 will go from 0-60 in around 4.4 seconds, which won’t make it the fastest car on the road, but puts it in line with competition like the venerable Porsche 911

Next time don't talk out of your @ss, it makes you sound stupid.

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/2014 2:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Audi R8 and Lambo's are not the same price
X2, those cars are a $100k more expensive. This is, believe it or not, in the same price range as the 911.

RE: Translation
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2014 3:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
The R8 starts about 115k, not quite the 100k more you think.

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/2014 10:44:49 PM , Rating: 1
No shit! I sit corrected.

RE: Translation
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/14/2014 1:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
Hell of a car for 115k too :) And it's beautiful :) Have seen a few around my area and it's even better in person :)

RE: Translation
By Jeffk464 on 3/13/2014 6:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
If you ask me for most buyers the performance numbers don't matter that much so long as they are good. These cars are all about image and the cool factor, and the i8 has that in spades.

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/2014 10:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
In that price range, everything matters. This isn't a Camry. These customers expect to get EXACTLY what they paid for.

RE: Translation
By Jeffk464 on 3/14/2014 1:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
So you think an Austin Martin owner cares that a Lamborghini will be his car on a race track?

RE: Translation
By tanjali on 3/13/2014 3:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
1996 I was in Ingolstadt, Germany and befriended a German engineer that worked for Audi. He told me, confidentially, that Audi has all the tech for EV back then but politics hindered it to spread. Now I understand what he was talking about.

RE: Translation
By retrospooty on 3/13/2014 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
When an hybrid is done for power, and low end torque rather than fuel efficiency, it is a beautiful thing. This is not your standard "I hate hybrid's" kind of car. Electric motors have almost zero wind up time and are at full power almost instantly where ICE engines have a lag from when you press the gas to release the fuel and combustion/power occurs. The result, when done right is extremely snappy acceleration and decent fuel efficiency.

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/2014 2:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
No lag in my cars, not sure what you're talking about.

RE: Translation
By retrospooty on 3/13/2014 3:08:26 PM , Rating: 2

It's not something "I" am talking about, its just a well known fact. The torque curve on an electric motor is basically max from the start, and normal gasoline engines take time to rev up to it.

RE: Translation
By retrospooty on 3/13/2014 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
Here is an easy sample that illustrates it.

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/2014 3:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, you're talking about the power curve. You consider that lag? That's just how engines work. Electric motors have a power curve too, it's just that they make max torque at 0 rpm. BTW, no production EV makes max torque that low, they're all limited to protect the drivetrain and tires.

RE: Translation
By retrospooty on 3/13/2014 3:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Lag" may have been a bad choice of wording on my part. The point is when designed for performance, and not for economy, a hybrid can be an angry beast of a car. The upcoming Acura NSX and the BMW above may be 2 shinning examples (released product tests pending)

RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/13/2014 4:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
The point is when designed for performance, and not for economy, a hybrid can be an angry beast of a car.
Gotcha and it sure can. Look at the 918 for a prime example. I like how Porsche implemented the electric motor to make up for the "turbo lag".

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