Well, here it is (at least, most of it): the BMW i8. Not fully pulled out from under the cover of camouflage just yet- but BMW has been kind enough to dish out all the juicy details on one of the Frankfurt Motor Show‘s most highly anticipated arrivals.
The i8 comes powered by a 1.5-liter, 228-hp three-cylinder turbocharged gas engine, connected to a plug-in electric powertrain producing 129-hp. Total output for the i8 sits neatly at 357-hp and 420 lb-ft torque. All with a six-speed automatic gearbox paired to the three-cylinder engine, and a two-stage automatic transmission paired to the electric motor which sends powers to the front axle. Follow all that? Good.
Rounding out the trio of hybrid power, sits a lithium-ion battery. The rechargeable battery can be used in full electric mode with a range of just about 22 miles via a three and a half hour charge time from a standard 120 volt. Or if you’re feeling a bit more empowered (puns!), you can opt for a 220 volt charger which sends the i8 310 miles from a single one and a half hour charge.
Now, with all these power figures you may ask yourself “Is that enough to compete?” In short: it certainly is. Through the use of ultra-lightweight materials like aluminum on the rear sub frames and carbon fiber reinforced plastic on many of the body panels, the total curb weight sits at a relatively light (at least for a hybrid) 3,285 lbs (1,490 kg).
This package sends the rear-drive i8 from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds, continuing on to a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). With fuel consumption clocking an impressive 94 mpg (2.5 l/100 km).
So far, it all sounds pretty promising. Expect even more details along with full photos of the i8 to be released at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.