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BMW's i8 will launch in the U.S. in Spring 2014

BMW has officially taken the wraps off its new i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, after teasing it in concept form for the past two years. The two-door, four-seat vehicle makes extensive use of carbon fiber to keep weight down to a relatively respectable 3,285 pounds.
The production version of the car makes use of a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine producing 231 hp (236 lb-ft of torque), which is sent to the rear wheels using a 6-speed automatic transmission. The front wheels are powered by a 131 hp electric motor (184 lb-ft of torque) paired with a two-stage automatic transmission. Those two engines combined give the i8 a total of 362hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

This complex arrangement allows the i8 to dash to 60 mpg in 4.4 seconds, while still offering an EPA estimated 94 MPGe. The i8 features five driving modes that can be selected using the "Driving Experience Control" switch. The most efficient mode (with the vehicle operating as front-wheel drive) will allow the vehicle to travel up to 22 miles on battery power alone at speeds up to 75 mph.

Thanks to having two engines, two transmissions, lithium-ion batteries, and copious amounts of carbon fiber onboard, the BMW i8 most definitely isn't cheap. The vehicle will be priced at a whopping $135,935 when it launches in the U.S. next spring.

Source: BMW

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By bug77 on 9/10/2013 9:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
231HP from 1.5L? This could be an awesome car with ICE only, but these days you have to electric to be hip.

RE: Hehe
By Dribble on 9/10/2013 10:51:04 AM , Rating: 1
Still makes me laugh when they try so hard to make $100k+ supercars so fuel efficient. Cause obviously the target market for a car like that can't afford the petrol...

RE: Hehe
By MichalT on 9/10/2013 8:17:17 PM , Rating: 3
Rich people who want this aren't concerned about the cost of gas, but would prefer to be at least seen as green while they satisfy their fast car desires.

RE: Hehe
By Mint on 9/10/2013 8:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
You think BMW can sell a car for $140k with only 231hp?

They're targeting people who are not only interested in performance but also in EVs and cutting edge technology. Tesla's Model S has no gas backup and is a large 4 door sedan. The i8 pretty much exists on its own, allowing them to charge $140k.

A 231-hp, ICE-only 2-door coupe from BMW would be lucky to fetch $40k.

Where's the M1?
By inperfectdarkness on 9/10/2013 5:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
All of these prototypes BMW floats around. Still no M1 successor. Son, I am dissapoint.

RE: Where's the M1?
By Flunk on 9/10/2013 9:06:19 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly this is the best-looking car they've made since the M1. If you're looking for them to actually make a new M1 you may never be satisfied as BMW has decided that name is sacrosanct and will never be used again. Then again, new management is always around the corner.

anti hybrid
By jackpro on 9/21/2013 2:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
better get a horse to power your jalopy, you old coots, living in the past, hybrids are here to stay deal with it!

Useless car
By UpSpin on 9/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Useless car
By Brandon Hill on 9/10/2013 7:18:52 AM , Rating: 2
Is this a joke post? Are you saying that people who drive sports cars don't travel long distances or sit in traffic?

I'd be willing to bet that 911, M3, Corvette, etc. drivers spend more time in traffic and on the highway than at the track.

RE: Useless car
By UpSpin on 9/10/2013 7:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
No it's not a joke post and I agree with you that people use a sports car for normal driving, I never denied that. I explicitly wrote and even highlighted that I'm talking about 'road traffic' to exclude racing tracks.
I just think that such expensive sport cars get more used for fun driving on a normal road than for shopping in a city or making a vacation several thousand miles away. (both perfect scenarios for the use of a hybrid).
I just see little use in a hybrid in such a car priced that high.
Either full electric or traditional gasoline, especially because the BMW i8 gets touted as an innovative futuristic car.

RE: Useless car
By retrospooty on 9/10/2013 8:07:12 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike ICE engines, electric motors have zero time to wind up to full power. With ICE engines, you hit the gas, fuel is released, combustion occurs and that pushes the pistons. It takes a few seconds to get to full power. Electric is at full power near instantaneous and they work awesome in a sports car. You will see more and more of this on the high end. The thing with hybrid's is it depends on how you work it. It can either be set up for fuel efficiency, or for extra power/torque.

RE: Useless car
By BRB29 on 9/10/2013 8:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
It takes a few seconds to get to full power

maybe for cheap cars or old cars. The new sports cars these days have almost instant throttle response. BMWs are probably most impressive even with their turbo motors. There's almost no turbo lag. I have a 135 coupe right now.

I don't know what you mean by full power as Power = torque x rpm/5252. So full power can only be achieved at a specific rpm.

do you mean full torque at a specific rpm?

RE: Useless car
By Flunk on 9/10/2013 9:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's exactly what he meant and you know it.

RE: Useless car
By retrospooty on 9/10/2013 10:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
I dont think you quite get the tech, or the point of this car.

RE: Useless car
By Spuke on 9/10/2013 12:54:49 PM , Rating: 2

IMO, the point of this car is to showcase technology. It does that. Whether or not it makes sense is irrelevant. Someone will buy it and BMW can add a couple of bucks to their marketing budget. On a side note, I understand that the 918 Spyder hasn't sold out yet but the LaFerrari has. Hmmmm.

RE: Useless car
By BRB29 on 9/10/2013 8:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
this is a sports EV in marketing. It is not meant to be anything besides a status symbol or a statement for the rich.

It is pointless to discuss how much of a sports car or practicality it has.

RE: Useless car
By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Useless car
By BRB29 on 9/10/2013 10:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
it will barely make a dent on their CAFE fuel economy average.

The way it is calculated is inversed and also used number of vehicles as well. For a low volume vehicle like this, there's little changes to the average fleet mpg.

The formula is on wiki if you want to look it up. I'm sure this has already been discussed on DT before as well.

You're right that it's underwhelming. I'm pretty sure only the rich or celebrities would buy this to say they're green and awesome.

RE: Useless car
By tanjali on 9/16/2013 4:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
No one will buy this car! Celebrities have at least some intelligence... This car is blasphemy!!

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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