While it may seem BMW has been teasing their i8 and i3 electric cars for years, CAR Magazine of the United Kingdom recently added to the frenzy after reporting that BMW is several steps closer to finalizing the 2014 i8 electric supercar. That said, the publication reportedly learned about the production specifications of the 2013 BMW i8.
The production version will weigh approximately 1,450 kilograms, or 3,197lbs and will only be sold as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. As BMW described when the i8 Concept was first introduce, the production model will strongly resemble the concept with as little change as possible.
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It will provide a 2+2 setup, so that means a pair of rear seats, while active body panels will allow the i8 to optimize its aerodynamic efficiency at various speeds. Powering the i8 will be a turbocharged 1.5L three-banger that produces 223hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, driving the rear wheels. Sitting at the front is a 170hp electric motor driving the front wheels.
That said, CAR confidently reports that any rumors of a strictly gasoline i8 have been debunked as an M version was considered, complete with the V8 from the current M5 and M6 with a higher displacement. The last generation’s 5.0L S85 V10 was even considered at one point.
But now that the i8 has been destined to be a PHEV only, a very advanced black box was said to help the i8 optimize its handling by altering the i8’s power delivery to either just the front- or rear-wheels, or all-four. Torque vectoring will also be incorporated as well. In fact, the BMW i8 is said to be so advanced that it “knows all the power oversteer tricks of the trade,” according to CAR.
So far, CAR also learned that when all 393hp and 406 lb-ft of twist are put to use, the 2014 BMW i8 will sprint to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds and onto a top run of 156 mph. When fully charged, it can be driven 20 miles on all-electric power. And while BMW’s other i cars will feature a single-speed transmission, the i8 will feature a four-speed cog swapper to broaden its performance range. Recharging is estimated to take around six hours on the normal outlet, while a high-voltage unit can accomplish this in just 60 minutes.
Pricing is said to start well above €100,000 with BMW planning on moving a total of 10,000 units per year. And while that price may seemingly get you a German super-overhyped-hypocritical-treehugger-mobile, the 2014 BMW i8 will be decked out with a range of all-new technology and innovative driver aids.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: CAR Magazine