BMW has released a wealth of details on the second vehicle in its electrified i line, the radical i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Like the i3 city car that Charged examined at its coming-out party in New York, the i8 is scheduled to go on sale in early 2014. However, it will be produced in smaller quantities and carry a much higher price tag.
The 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gas engine delivers 231 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, and the hybrid synchronous electric motor gives 96 kW (131 hp) and 184 lb-ft of torque. Together they’ll take you to 60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. Top speed is 155 mph and electric range is about 22 miles.
The i8 shares many innovative features with its more sedate sister, including BMW’s LifeDrive architecture – a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger compartment and an aluminum chassis – as well as a relentless focus on light weight and aerodynamics that includes every component, from the foam plastic air-conditioning ducts to the aluminum screws to the chemically-hardened glass windshield.
The i8 will make its society debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.