While BMW has been shining a spotlight on its new i3 electric city car, the second vehicle in the i line still had a bit of mystery about it. The i8 rolled out of the shadows this week in Frankfurt, as BMW announced that the plug-in hybrid sports car will arrive in US showrooms in the spring of 2014, with an MSRP of $ 136,625.
The car of the future is electrified, autonomous and hyperconnected, its components are super-high-tech, and its manufacturing processes are efficient and sustainable. Both the radical i8 and the practical i3 embody all of these concepts, but there’s no danger of confusing the two. The i8’s supersleek styling and powerful performance (362 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, top speed 155 mph, 22-mile electric range), make it clear who’s the Ginger and who’s the Mary Ann on BMW’s island.
BMW’s LifeDrive architecture features a passenger compartment made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) – as light as aluminum, as strong as steel, and easier to work with than either – as well as a relentless focus on light weight and aerodynamics.
The i8’s driver can select one of five driving modes, which control the interaction among the engine, motor, transmission, suspension and even the accessories to deliver the desired balance of performance, comfort and fuel economy.
An integrated SIM card provides connectivity to BMWs ConnectedDrive cloud of services, from navigation to remote charging to concierge services and a host of entertainment options.
Source: BMW, AutoBlog Green