The BMW i8 car, a plug-in hybrid sports car due to be released in mid-2014, sold out its first production run at the 2013 LA Auto Show. Retailing at £99,125/€126,000/$135,700, the BMW i8 combines a 1.5 litre B38 3-cylinder Turbo petrol engine, which produces a rear wheel drive of 170 kW/231hp, with an electric front wheel drive generating 96 kW/131hp. In all electric mode, the vehicle has a range of 35Km/22mi with a top speed of 120km/h (75mph).
The transverse rear-mounted B38 1.5 litre engine produces 228hp, sending power to the six-speed gearbox. The gearbox has its own two speed drive, staying in first gear when in eDrive then changing to second gear in other modes. An additional eDrive motor situated adjacent to the engine is used to start the combustion engine, recharge the battery, and prevents the mode-switching lag experienced in hybrid cars. The BMW i8 has a combined 357hp, with 420 lb/ft torque.
The BMW i8 battery may be charged using an ordinary power point, at a BMW I wallbox or at a public charging bay. The vehicle has several drive modes: Sport, Comfort and ECO PRO, which use combinations of electric and petrol propulsion. Comfort is the default mode until 65km/h or 40mph is reached, when the petrol driven Sport mode takes over. BMW give 0-62mph data in eDrive and normal drives as less than 4.5 seconds.
The BMW i8’s body consists of CFRP, or carbon fibre, and aluminium configured as a 2+2. The butterfly doors are of CFRP reinforced with aluminium, whilst the hood is made of aluminium and the protective bumpers of a one-piece composite plastic. The rear windows consist of “Gorilla Glass” for soundproofing. Equipped with 20” wheels, the BMW i8 has wider rear wheels for maximum stability.