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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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