The BMW i8 – Ushering in a New Era of Sustainable Performance Priced from $135,925 in the US.


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 10, 2013 3:00am EDT/12:00am    PDT… Today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled  on of the most widely anticipated cars in its history – the BMW i8. On  most levels, this plug-in hybrid 2+2 sports car is unlike any car ever  introduced. It is was alspo announced that the BMW i8 will have a  manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $135,925 (including destination  and handling) when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014.


The BMW i8 at a glance

  • First plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group and world’s most forward-looking sports car; revolutionary interpretation of BMW’s hallmark driving pleasure; groundbreaking premium character clearly defined in terms of sustainability.
  • 2+2-seater with LifeDrive architecture developed specifically for BMW i, aerodynamically groundbreaking body design and visionary interior design deliver an intense driving experience; Life module passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP); drive system technology, high-voltage battery, chassis, and crash and structural functions integrated into the aluminum Drive module; curb weight: 3,285 lbs (1,490 kg); Cd: 0.26; very low center of gravity (below 18 inches/460 millimeters); well-balanced weight distribution.
  • Emotion-led visual impression based around established BMW i  design language; classical sports car proportions and fresh interpretation of BMW design features; doors open upwards like wings;  clean lines, plus surface design (external and internal) based on the  layering principle; full-LED headlights as standard, innovative laser  headlights – unique worldwide – available as an option where  regulations allow.
  • Plug-in hybrid system developed and produced by the BMW Group  represents the latest development stage of Efficient Dynamics; debut  for three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo  technology, displacement: 1.5 liters, output: 170 kW/231 hp, maximum  torque: 320 Nm (236 lb-ft); power sent to the rear wheels via a  six-speed automatic gearbox; model-specific hybrid synchronous  electric motor, output: 96 kW/131 hp, maximum torque: 250 Nm  (184 lb-ft); power channeled through the front wheels via a two-stage  automatic transmission; lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid  cooling and usable capacity of 5 kWh.
  • First combination of BMW TwinPower Turbo and BMW eDrive  technology plus intelligent energy management produce system output of  266 kW/362 hp (max. torque: 570 Nm / 420 lb-ft) and give the BMW i8  the performance characteristics of a pure-bred sports car (0 –   100 km/h / 62 mph in 4.4 seconds) combined with fuel economy and  emissions comparable to a small car  – EU fuel consumption: 2.5 litres  per 100 km / 94 mpg (US); “glued-to-the-road” AWD driving experience  with torque distribution geared towards optimized dynamics.
  • Driving Experience Control switch and eDrive button allow  driver to choose from five driving modes; range of up to 35 kilometers  (22 miles) on electric power alone and a top speed of 120 km/h  (75 mph); COMFORT mode offers optimum balance between dynamics and  efficiency; combined range in everyday conditions: over 500 kilometers  (310 miles); SPORT mode with ultra-intense boost function provided by  the electric motor; ECO PRO mode can be used in both all-electric mode  and hybrid mode.
  • Sophisticated chassis technology featuring a double-wishbone  front axle and a five-link rear axle; Electric Power Steering; Dynamic  Damper Control comes as standard; 20-inch light-alloy wheels are standard.
  • Intelligent lightweight construction with elements including a  CFRP passenger cell, doors with a CFRP-aluminum structure, an  instrument panel with magnesium support, an aluminum chassis and a  partition between the passenger compartment and boot made from thin  glass; comprehensive safety concept and an ultra-torsionally stiff  passenger cell.
  • Extensive standard equipment includes the Navigation system  Professional with proactive drive system for all-electric driving,  fully-digital instrument display, BMW iDrive with freestanding Control  Display and leather sports seats; choice of four exterior paint  finishes and four interior equipment variants.
  • Wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive features: Park Distance  Control, cruise control system with braking function, rain sensor and  Intelligent Emergency Call function, optional driver assistance  package with High Beam Assistant, a rear view camera, Surround View,  Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display, and Collision  Warning with pedestrian recognition and braking function; also  available are the Head-Up Display, BMW Online Entertainment, Concierge  Services, Real Time Traffic Information and mobility services  developed specifically for BMW i, e.g. intermodal route guidance as standard.
  • Services specifically developed for BMW i as part of the 360° ELECTRIC program: BMW i Charging Station for convenient battery charging at home, ChargeNow card giving customers a cash-free payment option at public charging stations as well as innovative mobility services such as MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse; flexible sales concept enables made-to-measure mobility solutions.
  • All-embracing sustainability concept running like a thread through the value chain; carbon fiber production and vehicle assembly using 100-per cent renewable electricity; high proportion of recycled materials; use of materials manufactured and treated in an environmentally friendly manner.

BMW i8: The sports car of the future

BMW i stands for the creation of pure-bred vehicle concepts,  sustainability throughout the value chain, complementary mobility  services and a fresh understanding of premium defined squarely in  terms of sustainability. And now the BMW Group can unveil the BMW i8 –   a new, cutting-edge generation of sports car. The second model  unveiled by the new BMW i brand combines a plug-in hybrid drive system  with a passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP)  and an aluminum frame for the combustion engine and electric motor,  the battery pack and the suspension. With this revolutionary concept  and the emotional appeal of its aerodynamically optimized body design,  the 2+2-seater – which was conceived from the outset as a plug-in  hybrid – paves the way for an engagingly dynamic and futuristically  efficient take on BMW’s hallmark driving pleasure. By cementing the  brand’s new premium character, strongly defined by sustainability, in  the sports car segment, the new i8 also demonstrates the broad spread  and universal appeal of the BMW i philosophy.

The research and development activities carried out by the BMW Group  since 2007 as part of its project i initiative have laid the  groundwork for a visionary car conceived with the impact of  environmental, economic and social change around the world very much  in mind. Alongside its conceptual and technological development work,  the company has also conducted field studies looking at the use of  pure-electric vehicles in everyday conditions. More than 1,000 people  have taken part in the studies, racking up in excess of  32 million kilometers (20 million miles) at the wheel. The knowledge  gained as a result has been channeled into the creation of innovative  vehicle concepts and mobility solutions.

BMW I8 Rear

Breaking new ground: premium cars underpinned by sustainability-led  concepts arrive in the sports car segment. The development of  BMW i cars follows a revolutionary approach, a strategy focusing on  the creation of premium cars purpose-designed to be powered by purely  electric or plug-in hybrid drive systems. This electric drive  technology (packaged under the BMW eDrive banner) is therefore a  central component of the vehicle concept – in contrast to the   “conversion” model, where vehicles are retrofitted with electric drive  systems. Characteristic BMW driving dynamics coupled with  emission-free mobility, precise energy flow management, pioneering  design, intelligent lightweight construction and production processes  that preserve energy and resources come together to mutually  complementary effect to form the innovative, sustainability-led  premium character of BMW i cars.

The BMW i8 was conceived from the ground up as a plug-in hybrid  sports car boasting agile performance attributes and extraordinary  efficiency. Its LifeDrive architecture – developed specifically for  BMW i – offers the ideal platform for a weight-minimizing  construction, low center of gravity and even weight distribution. The  combustion engine and electric motor, battery pack, power electronics,  chassis components, and structural and crash functions are all  arranged within the aluminum Drive module, while the central element  of the Life module is the i8’s CFRP passenger cell. This structure  also allows a considerable degree of design freedom, which has been  utilized – within the framework of the design language developed for  BMW i – to give the BMW i8 its distinctive appearance.

The perfect balance of performance and fuel consumption: the BMW i8  represents an exciting new landmark in Efficient Dynamics. The  BMW i8 offers a revolutionary and future-focused interpretation of  BMW’s signature driving pleasure – and in so doing, makes its case as  the world’s most progressive model in the sports car segment. The  plug-in hybrid drive system developed and manufactured by the  BMW Group especially for the BMW i8 represents a new stage of  evolution in the Efficient Dynamics development strategy.

The BMW Group launched Efficient Dynamics over a decade ago with the  aim of significantly enhancing the performance characteristics and  efficiency of every new BMW Group model. Efficient Dynamics  incorporates both the evolution of existing technology and the use of  revolutionary new drive system concepts. For example, efficient  vehicle concepts focusing on lightweight design and aerodynamics,  dynamic drive systems featuring both BMW TwinPower Turbo technology  and BMW eDrive, and intelligent management of energy consumption  within the vehicle are applied in various current BMW models. BMW i  cars benefit from the introduction of revolutionary new technology  which subsequently finds its way into the models produced by the core  brands of the BMW Group.

As a world-leading supplier of premium cars and, increasingly, also  premium services, the BMW Group is playing an active and defining role  in the changing face of personal mobility. And awareness of issues  such as resource scarcity, climate change and creeping urbanization is  also growing among the public. The BMW Group’s commitment to  sustainability has long been a key element of its corporate strategy  and is one of the fundamental principles enforced throughout the  company’s value chain, as independent studies have regularly  confirmed. The BMW Group has been named the “world’s most sustainable  automobile manufacturer” in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for  eight consecutive years.

BMW i8: the trailblazer for a new generation of sports car. The  underlying principle of Efficient Dynamics – more driving pleasure,  lower fuel consumption – is expressed with particular purity by the  BMW i8. With the performance attributes of a pure-bred sports car and  the fuel consumption of a small city model, the first BMW plug-in  hybrid vehicle hits heights only attainable through the revolutionary  BMW i vehicle concept. And that makes the BMW i8 a trailblazer for a  new generation of sports cars, defined not only by their performance  characteristics but also by intelligent solutions to the challenges  personal mobility will encounter over the years ahead.

Thanks to its revolutionary vehicle concept and intelligent drive  system management, the BMW i8 strikes the optimum  balance between dynamic ability and efficiency in a variety of driving  situations. The output of the engine and electric motor, the capacity  of the high-voltage battery, intelligent energy management and the  vehicle’s overall weight are tailored to form a precisely composed  package that defines the unique character of the plug-in hybrid sports  car. Its all-electric driving range is sufficient to cover most urban  driving requirements, and out of town, the BMW i8 offers impressively  sporty performance which is also very efficient thanks to the  power-boosting support for the gasoline engine from the electric motor.

Efficiency and driving dynamics alike are optimized by the broad  application of lightweight design – from the CFRP passenger cell to  the weight-reduced construction of all other components – and mobility  services developed specially for BMW i. The all-encompassing approach  of the BMW i brand also includes the extensive use of recycled  materials, renewable raw materials and naturally treated materials,  alongside extremely resource-efficient production methods. This  overall concept makes the BMW i8 the world’s most forward-looking  sports car. It brings together thrilling performance and progressive  efficiency. In the process it boosts  driving pleasure and  sustainability awareness in equal measure.

Sustainability: the reference point for the entire development  process. As part of the development of BMW i cars, sustainability  targets are established and then pursued with the same vigor as cost,  weight or quality objectives. This all-embracing approach is reflected  both in the selection of materials and in the construction and  manufacturing processes, which differ substantially from conventional  manufacturing methods in the automotive industry. The low overall  weight of the BMW i8 (3,285 lbs/1,490 kilograms) can be credited  primarily to a passenger cell made from CFRP. Although it lends a  component at least equal rigidity, this extremely lightweight  high-tech material is 50 percent lighter than steel and 30 percent  lighter than aluminum. The principle of intelligent lightweight design  is applied to all the car’s components.

The doors are made up of a CFRP inner structure and an aluminum outer  skin and weigh 50 percent less than a conventional construction. The  intelligent construction of the magnesium instrument panel support  brings a weight saving of around 30 percent compared with the  BMW 6 Series, for example. In addition, the high structural rigidity  of the magnesium support structure gives it a strengthening effect  which allows the number of components to be reduced, thereby lowering  weight by a further 10 percent. Innovative foam plastic technology  used in the air conditioning ducts cuts their weight by 60 percent  compared with a conventional solution, while also improving acoustics  thanks to its sound-absorbing properties. The fact that the power  electronics and electric motor are directly connected reduces the  amount of wiring required, while partial use of aluminum wiring  enables further weight reductions.

The BMW i8 is also the world’s first volume-produced vehicle to be  equipped with chemically hardened thin glass. This innovative  technology, so far used mainly in smartphone manufacturing, lends the  material impressive strength. The partition between the passenger  compartment and boot of the BMW i8 consists of two layers of  chemically hardened glass, each of which is just 0.7 millimeters  thick, with acoustic sheeting sandwiched in between. In addition to  excellent acoustic properties, a further advantage of this solution is  a weight saving of around 50 percent compared with conventional  laminated glass.

As well as weight, the potential for preserving resources is a  decisive factor in the choice of materials. The majority of the  aluminum used in the BMW i8 is either gained through recycling or  produced using renewable energy. Added to which, the BMW Group has  developed a globally unique recycling concept for CFRP components,  body components and segregated production waste recovered from the  manufacturing of CFRP components and reusable materials from  accident-damaged and end-of-life vehicles which are either fed back  into the production process or used for other applications.

The BMW Group is the world’s first carmaker to employ an  environmentally friendly process for the treatment of leather. The  leather for the surfaces of the seats and the instrument panel is  tanned using olive leaf extract. This avoids the creation of  environmentally damaging production residue as well as giving the  leather a particularly high-quality and natural look. The cattle hide  comes exclusively from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and the  natural treatment process takes place in Germany. This keeps distances  to the BMW i8 production facility at BMW Plant Leipzig pleasingly short.

The textile materials used in the interior of the BMW i8 for accent  strips on the seats and door trim, the roof liner, the floor mats, the  body pillar trim and floor covering are made in an innovative  recycling process. The polyester granules that serve as the source  material are produced from materials including recyclable PET and are  combined with 40 percent virgin wool in a special process to create a  high-grade cover fabric. The manufacture of the key for the BMW i8  involves another innovative form of raw material production; its  casing is made from a biopolymer based on castor beans. The oil gained  from the beans is mixed with 30 percent glass fiber to make an  extremely high-quality and robust material.

Resource-efficient processes from material production to vehicle  assembly. The extensive use of CFRP is a central element in the  revolutionary vehicle concept underpinning the BMW i8, and the  BMW Group is also a leader in this area of the production process. The  use of CFRP on the scale required for the BMW i models is without  parallel in the automotive industry worldwide. The BMW Group has  teamed up with its joint venture partner, the SGL Group, to oversee a  factory in the US making carbon fiber. The facility is located in  Moses Lake, Washington, and represents an integral link in the value  chain for the production of BMW i cars. It secures the BMW Group a  supply of the high-quality and sustainably produced basic material  required for the manufacture of CFRP components. The carbon fibers  produced at Moses Lake are made into lightweight laminates at the  Wackersdorf Innovation Park in Germany. These are subsequently turned  into CFRP parts and components in the press shops at the BMW plants in  Landshut and Leipzig.

The energy used to manufacture the carbon fiber at Moses Lake is  provided exclusively by locally sourced renewable hydro-electric  power, which means it is 100 percent CO2-free. Highly  resource-efficient processes have also been put in place for the other  stages of production for BMW i brand cars. The result is a reduction  of around 50 percent in energy consumption compared with the already  highly economical average figures across the BMW Group’s production  network and a drop in water consumption of roughly 70 percent. For  example, the energy required for production of BMW i cars at the  Leipzig plant comes exclusively from wind power – i.e. it is derived  entirely from renewable energy sources. This was the first time that  wind turbines had been installed at an automotive manufacturing plant  in Germany to provide a directly supply of power to its production halls.

Design: Vision becomes a reality

With its ultra-dynamic proportions, elegantly sporty lines, low-slung  silhouette and innovative design features, the BMW i8 represents a new  generation of sports car. Bringing together hallmark features of the  BMW brand with the design language developed especially for BMW i  creates a progressive aesthetic which faithfully communicates the  performance attributes, efficiency and innovative premium character of  the plug-in hybrid sports car.

The launch of the BMW i8 sees the world’s first sports car to be  developed from the ground up under the banner of sustainability  complete its journey from vision to reality. Both the exterior and  interior of the emotionally-led 2+2 embody a revolutionary, pioneering  take on the The Ultimate Driving Machine. Clean, minimalist lines and  homogeneous surfaces defined by a small number of precise edges and  function-focused details underline the status of the BMW i8 as the  most forward-looking car in its segment.

As the second series-produced BMW i model on the road, the BMW i8  also reveals the versatility of the design language which is  establishing itself as an unmistakable signature of BMW i cars. Its  design signals lightness, safety, efficiency and pure driving pleasure   – stand-out qualities that the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car shares  with the BMW i3, its pure-electric sibling conceived for agile and  comfortable urban driving.

The key to this versatility is the innovative LifeDrive architecture,  which opens up an exceptional degree of freedom for BMW i design. The  central element of the Life module is the carbon-fiber-reinforced  plastic (CFRP) passenger cell. The Life module is fixed to the  aluminum Drive module, which houses all the drive and chassis  technology. This distinctive two-way split is reflected on both the  outside and the inside of the car by the visible layering and  intertwining of different surfaces, with three-dimensional and flowing  transitions between the Life module and Drive module accentuating the  dynamic appearance of the BMW i8.

A length of 4,689 millimeters (184.6 inches) , width of  1,942 millimeters (76.5 inches) and height of 1,293 millimeters (51  inches) give the BMW i8 typical sports car proportions. Its dynamic  character is also reflected in its long bonnet, clearly visible  aerodynamic aids, stretched roofline, short overhangs and long,  2,800-millimeter (110.2 inches) wheelbase. The pioneering combination  of sporting ability and efficiency is translated into the design of  the 2+2-seater with intoxicating élan – and with the signature BMW i  design language to the fore. The car’s wide track: 1,644 millimeters  (64.8 inches) at the front axle, 1,715 millimeters (67.5 inches) at  the rear, completes the powerful dynamic presence generated by the  car’s proportions.

Exterior design: an aesthetic synthesis of dynamic appeal and  pioneering technology. The design of the BMW i8 body is as  groundbreaking as the plug-in hybrid sports car’s concept as a whole.  Hallmark BMW dynamics, lightweight design and efficiency are all  expressed in the car’s proportions, lines and surface design. The  2+2-seater is immediately recognizable as a BMW i model and a  new-generation sports car.

The structure of overlapping and interlocking surfaces – lent  additional emphasis by the car’s color concept – also contributes to  the unmistakable appearance of the BMW i8. This layering principle  allows aerodynamic forms to be wrapped up in a progressively styled  package, while powerfully formed wheel arches draw attention to the  wide track of the BMW i8. The compact construction distinguishing both  the electric motor and combustion engine allows the front and rear  sections of the car to be particularly low-slung and thus accentuate  the car’s dynamically stretched flanks. The scissor-type doors, which  open forward and upwards like wings, add extra intrigue to the sports  car design of the BMW i8.

A signature feature of the BMW i brand is the “black band”. On the  BMW i8, it emerges in a “V” shape from the hood and extends back over  the roof into the rear section of the car, where it frames the center  section of the rear apron. At the front end, the black band is framed  by the body-colored apron and fenders, while at the rear it is  overlapped by the “floating” roof pillars, which extend over the rear  lights. Another element of the standalone BMW i design language is the   “stream flow” contour of the side window. On the BMW i8 the stream  flow also determines the path travelled by the air between the falling  roofline and the character line rising through the rear section of the  car’s flanks towards the rear spoiler lip.

The front view of the BMW i8 exudes sporting ability in its purest  form. Large front apron air intakes arranged over several levels  generate a powerful feeling of depth. The extremely broad BMW kidney  grille stretches over to the slim headlights, accentuating the width  of the BMW i8 and its road-focused stance. The car’s full-LED  headlights adopt the hallmark U-shape of BMW i models. The dipped and  high-beam light is emitted by a lens positioned on the far outer edge  of the light units. The three-dimensional design of the light sources  lend their appearance a sporty character.

The low-slung stance of the rear end and its horizontal,  width-emphasizing lines also provide a clear showcase for the dynamic  potential of the BMW i8. The rear is bordered by the sculpted rear  wheel arches. The sloping rear window opens high, allowing easy access  to the storage compartment located underneath. The rear lights,  reflectors and rear diffuser form a single visual unit that  strengthens the car’s already powerful appearance. Like the  headlights, the intricately designed rear light clusters also feature  the characteristic BMW i U-shaped design. The directional indicators  are integrated above the rear lights into the descending roofline. All  of the exterior lights on the BMW i8 are LEDs.

Visible efficiency: aerodynamic optimization on a detailed  level. The BMW i8 boasts a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26 and a  fine aerodynamic balance. The low-slung hood, almost totally blanked  off kidney grille, Air Curtains in the front apron, sealed underbody,  contoured side skirts, “stream flow” lines of the car’s flanks, and  the air ducts between the rear lights and roof frame allow the air to  be channeled extremely effectively as it hits the car.

The large wheels with their bespoke, aerodynamically optimized design  also help to quell efficiency-reducing turbulence – and their effect  is reinforced by aeroflaps positioned behind the front wheels and  ahead of the rear wheels. Precisely defined air flow across all areas  of the body provides a balance between air resistance and lift  designed to maximize driving dynamics and directional stability.

The paintwork adorning the side body panels and front and rear ends  of the BMW i8 can be specified in a choice of four colors, three of  which have been created exclusively for BMW i. All the paint finishes  provide a striking contrast to the black band. And, depending on the  color chosen, the accent surfaces on the side skirts, at the rear and  on the BMW kidney grille surround come in BMW i Frozen Blue or Frozen Grey.

Interior design: customary BMW driver focus in a progressive ambience  defined by dynamics and lightness. Future-focused design also  dominates the interior of the BMW i8. The driver orientation typical  of BMW cockpit design is complemented by progressive elements which  highlight the sports car’s dynamic flair and light weight. The driver,  front passenger and rear passengers sit low down – in traditional  sports car style – in lightweight seats. The standard leather trim  extends beyond the seat surfaces to parts of the center console,  instrument panel and interior door panels. The use of leather treated  with natural substances, including olive leaf extract as a tanning  agent, underlines the sustainable character of the BMW i8 alongside  its exclusivity and sporting allure. Exposed CFRP sections of the  passenger cell visible around the entry apertures when the doors are  opened provide a reminder of the low weight of the BMW i8.


The instrument panel of the BMW i8, with its horizontal lines  emphasizing the width of the interior and a structure determined by  the “layering” principle, creates a light yet powerful impression. The  arrangement of the overlapping, three-dimensional segments is  complemented by a contrast-rich color scheme. The layering approach  also finds its way, through dynamically curving lines, into the design  of the center console, which is home to the gearshift lever, the  Controller for the iDrive operating system, the start/stop button, the  eDrive button and the Driving Experience Control switch. The iDrive  system’s Control Display comes in a freestanding 8.8-inch format. A  bespoke sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and the  Navigation system are standard in the BMW i8. Also standard is the  multifunction instrument display, whose content and presentation  formats take their cue from the driving mode selected.

Available as alternatives to the standard Mega trim for the BMW i8  interior are the Giga and Tera Worlds. In standard specification, the  contrast between black surfaces in the cockpit and light Carum Grey  leather surfaces emphasizes the lightness and sustainability of this  vehicle concept. The leather surfaces of the door and side trim are  complemented by functional textile highlights made from recycled  material. The optional Giga equipment World is available in light or  dark versions. The naturally treated leather surfaces feature  perforated elements and subtle contrast stitching which underline the  superior character of the material and workmanship involved. Painted  surface elements on the instrument panel, door trim and center console  add the finishing touches to the cutting-edge ambience. The likewise  optional Tera equipment World brings a pervasive aura of luxury and  sustainability to the interior of the BMW i8. Top-quality leather  surfaces combine with textile accents and contrast stitching in BMW i  Blue. And when it comes to the color scheme, dark Dalbergia Brown and  light Carum Grey provide attractive contrasts. The Tera World also  brings high-class paintwork to selected instrument panel and door trim  surfaces. The accent ring for the leather steering wheel comes in  BMW i Blue in the Tera equipment World and in Satin Silver in the  other variants.

Powertrain and driving experience: The best of both worlds

The BMW i8 embodies a revolutionary, future-focused interpretation of  the driving pleasure for which BMW is renowned. It was  purpose-designed as a plug-in-hybrid sports car offering agile  performance and outstanding efficiency. An exceptionally lightweight  and aerodynamically optimized body – including a passenger cell made  from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) – plus advanced BMW eDrive  drive system technology, a compact, highly turbocharged 1.5-liter  gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and intelligent  energy management all come together to create an overall concept that  represents a new landmark in the Efficient Dynamics development  strategy. The BMW i8 blends the performance of a top-end sports car  with fuel economy and emissions levels below even small urban  subcompacts. It is based, moreover, around a vehicle architecture that  offers the perfect platform for agile handling, thanks to an ultra-low  center of gravity and near perfect 50 : 50 weight distribution.

The three-cylinder combustion engine in the BMW i8 develops  170 kW/231 hp and drives the rear wheels, while the 96 kW/131 hp  electric motor draws its energy from a lithium-ion battery, which can  be charged from a conventional 110 volt power outlet as well as a 220  volt electric vehicle charger, and sends its power to the front axle.  This bespoke plug-in hybrid system, developed and produced by the  BMW Group, enables a range in everyday driving of up to 35 kilometers  (approx. 22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (approx. 75 mph) on  electric power alone, coupled with a “glued-to-the-road” all-wheel  driving experience headlined by powerful acceleration and a  dynamically-biased distribution of power through enthusiastically  taken corners. The more powerful of the two power sources drives the  rear wheels and uses the electric boost from the hybrid system to  deliver hallmark BMW driving pleasure while at the same time offering  groundbreaking levels of efficiency. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h  (62 mph) takes just 4.4 seconds, yet average fuel consumption – as  calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles – stands  at the equivalent of 94 miles per US gallon from launch.

Maximum driving pleasure and efficiency:  BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and  electric motor developed by the BMW Group. The plug-in hybrid  drive system of the BMW i8, which comprises a BMW TwinPower Turbo  engine combined with BMW eDrive technology, offers the best of both  worlds: excellent potential for improved efficiency and exciting,  sporty driving characteristics. The BMW Group has developed not only  the internal combustion engine and electric motor in-house but also  the power electronics and the battery. This ensures that all these  components offer high product and quality standards, based on the  outstanding capabilities of the BMW Group in the field of powertrain  research and development.

The revolutionary character of the BMW i8 is emphasized by a further  innovation: the use of an internal combustion engine which is making  its debut in this model. The BMW i8 is the first BMW production model  to be powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine. This highly  turbocharged unit is equipped with latest-generation  BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. It is exceptionally compact and  develops maximum power of 170 kW/231 hp from its 1.5-litre  displacement. The resulting specific output of 113 kW/154 hp per liter  of displacement is on a par with other high-performance sports car  engines and is the highest of any engine produced by the BMW Group.

The new three-cylinder engine derives its typical characteristics  from BMW’s inline six-cylinder engines, to which it is closely related  and which are noted for their eager power delivery, revving ability  and refinement. The three-cylinder’s BMW TwinPower Turbo technology  comprises a high-performance turbocharging system and direct gasoline  injection with high-precision injectors positioned between the valves,  along with VALVETRONIC throttle-less load control, which improves  efficiency and response thanks to seamlessly variable valve lift  control. Like a six-cylinder engine, the three-cylinder unit is free  of first and second-order inertial forces. The low roll torque, a  typical feature of a three-cylinder design, is further reduced by a  balancer shaft, while a multi-stage damper integrated in the automatic  transmission ensures very smooth and refined running at low rpm.  BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and low internal friction improve both  fuel consumption and torque characteristics. Accelerator response is  sharp and the three-cylinder unit quickly reaches its maximum torque  of 320 Newton meters (236 lb-ft).

The car’s second power source is a hybrid synchronous electric motor  specially developed and produced by the BMW Group for the BMW i8. The  motor develops maximum power of 96 kW/131 hp and produces its maximum  torque of around 250 Newton meters (184 lb-ft) from standstill. Power  is instantly available –an advantage of electric motors- from 0 rpm  and remains available into the higher load ranges. Credit for the  linear power delivery, which extends right up to the high end of the  rpm range, goes to a special motor design principle exclusive to  BMW i. BMW eDrive technology refines and improves on the principle of  the permanently excited synchronous motor with a special arrangement  and dimensions for the torque-producing components. This results in a  self-magnetizing effect normally confined to reluctance motors. This  additional excitation ensures that the electromechanical field  generated when current is applied remains stable even at high rpm.

As well as providing a power boost to assist the gasoline engine  during acceleration, the electric motor can also power the vehicle by  itself. Top speed is then 120 km/h (approx. 75 mph). The BMW i8 has a  maximum driving range in this emission-free, virtually soundless,  all-electric mode of up to 35 kilometers (approx. 22 miles). The motor  derives its energy from the lithium-ion battery which is centrally  mounted underneath the floor of the vehicle. This model-specific  version of the high-voltage battery was developed and produced by the  BMW Group. It has a liquid cooling system, offers a maximum usable  capacity of five kilowatt hours and can be recharged from a  conventional 110 volt power outlet, at a BMW i charging station, or at  a public EV charging station.

The BMW i8’s vehicle concept and powertrain control highlight its  progressive, revolutionary character. The BMW i8 always achieves the  optimal balance between dynamic performance and efficiency, whatever  the driving situation. For example, the battery can also be recharged  via the electric motor while decelerating. In addition to this, when  power demands allow, the high-voltage battery is recharged by the  electric motor. The high-voltage starter-generator, responsible for  starting the combustion engine, can also be used as a generator to  charge the battery, the necessary power being provided by the  BMW TwinPower Turbo engine. These various processes help ensure that  the BMW i8 always has sufficient energy on board to power the electric  drive system. The all-electric driving range is sufficient to cover  most urban driving requirements. Out of town, the BMW i8 delivers  impressively sporty performance with extreme efficiency, thanks to the  electric motor’s power-boosting support for the gasoline engine. With  such versatility, the BMW i8 belongs to a new generation of sports  cars which unites exciting performance with cutting-edge efficiency –   to enhance both driving pleasure and the sense for sustainability.

The rear wheels of the BMW i8 are driven by the gasoline engine via a  six-speed automatic transmission, while the front wheels receive their  power from the electric motor via a two-stage automatic transmission.  Combined maximum output of 266 kW/362 hp and combined peak torque of  570 Newton meters (420 lb-ft) provide all-wheel-drive performance  which is as dynamic as it is efficient. The BMW i8’s intelligent  powertrain control system ensures perfect coordination of both power  sources. The variable power-sharing between the internal combustion  engine and the electric motor makes the driver aware of the sporty  temperament of the BMW i8 at all times, while at the same time  maximizing the energy efficiency of the overall system. Utilizing both  power sources enables a 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 4.4 seconds. The  BMW i8 has an electronically controlled top speed of 250 km/h  (155 mph), which can be reached and maintained when the vehicle  operates solely on the gasoline engine.

Variable front-rear power splitting in line with changing driving  conditions makes for excitingly dynamic cornering. On entering the  corner, the power split is biased towards the rear wheels to improve  turning precision. For more vigorous acceleration out of the corner,  the powertrain controller returns to the default split as soon as the  steering angle becomes smaller again.

Five driving modes allow drivers to adjust efficiency and dynamic  performance as desired – at the touch of a button. The BMW i8  offers the driver unusual scope to adjust the drive and suspension  settings of the vehicle in order to adapt the driving experience to  his or her individual preferences. As well as the electronic gear  selector for the automatic transmission, the driver can also use the  Driving Experience Control switch – a familiar feature of the latest  BMW models – or, exclusively to the BMW i8, the eDrive button. It  gives the driver five operating modes to choose from: D for automated  gear selection in COMFORT and ECO PRO modes, SPORT mode and eDrive for  pure-electric driving – likewise with a choice of COMFORT and ECO PRO mode.

The Driving Experience Control switch on the center console gives  drivers a choice of two settings. On starting, COMFORT mode is  activated, which offers a balance between sporty performance and fuel  efficiency, with unrestricted access to all convenience functions.  Alternatively, at the touch of a button, ECO PRO mode can be engaged,  which, on the BMW i8 as on other models, supports an  efficiency-optimized driving style. The powertrain controller  coordinates the cooperation between the gasoline engine and the  electric motor for minimal fuel consumption. On overrun, the  intelligent energy management system automatically decides, in line  with the driving situation and vehicle status, whether to recuperate  braking energy or to coast with the powertrain disengaged. At the same  time, ECO PRO mode also programs electrical convenience functions such  as the air conditioning, seat heating and heated mirrors to operate at  minimum power consumption – but without compromising safety. The  everyday driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a  fully charged battery is over 500 kilometers (310 miles) in COMFORT mode.

SPORT mode offers sequential manual gear selection and at the same  time switches to very sporty drive and suspension settings. In SPORT  mode, the engine and electric motor deliver extra-sharp performance,  accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric  motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, SPORT mode also  activates maximum energy recuperation during deceleration and braking.  If the battery is being recharged using the car’s kinetic energy, the  electric motor’s generator function switches to a more powerful  setting. At the same time, gear change times are shortened and an  extra-sporty setting is selected for the standard Dynamic Damper  Control and the Electric Power Steering.

The BMW i8’s ECO PRO mode can also be used during all-electric  operation. The vehicle is then powered solely by the electric motor.  Only if the battery charge drops below a given level, or under sudden  intense throttle application (kickdown), is the internal combustion  engine automatically activated.

Sophisticated chassis technology with Dynamic Damper  Control. The dynamic chassis and suspension technology of the  BMW i8 is based on a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear  axle, whose aluminum components and geometry are specially configured  for intelligent weight savings. The Electric Power Steering offers  easy maneuvering in town and typical sports car-style high-speed  steering precision, combined with particularly low energy consumption.  Also standard is Dynamic Damper Control: the electronically operated  dampers change their characteristics according to the selected driving  mode to deliver the desired vehicle dynamics.

The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) stability system includes the  Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic  Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist, Brake Standby, Start-Off Assistant,  Fading Compensation and the Brake Drying function. The push  button-activated Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) system raises the DSC  thresholds, allowing some controlled drive wheel slippage for easier  start-off on snow or loose ground, or for extra-dynamic cornering.

CFRP wheels reduce weight in critical areas. The chassis  components of the BMW i8 are defined by their weight-minimized  construction. The car’s standard 20-inch forged aluminum wheels have  an aerodynamically optimized, lightweight design. CFRP wheels  developed exclusively for the BMW i8 can be specified as an option in  markets where regulations allow them. They allow a further reduction  in weight in an area of the car which plays a particularly prominent  role when it comes to agility. The use of three-piece wheels made from  this extremely lightweight and high-strength material directly reduces  unsprung masses and produces a weight saving of three kilograms per wheel.

Body and safety: lightweight and maximum protection

The BMW i8 has its own version of the LifeDrive architecture  developed for BMW i that gives it a unique range of tools for  combining intelligent lightweight design and safety – to the highest  standard in each case. The horizontally split LifeDrive architecture  consists of two separate, independent modules. The combustion engine  and electric motor, battery pack, power electronics, chassis  components, and structure and crash functions are arranged together in  the aluminum Drive module, while the central element of the  Life module is the 2+2-seater’s carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP)  passenger cell. The vehicle structure and materials employed in the i8  represent a pioneering example of automotive construction and  reinforce the position of the BMW i8 as the most progressive model in  the sports car segment worldwide.

CFRP is the lightest available material that can be used in the  construction of a car body without compromising on safety. One of the  stand-out characteristics of this high-tech material is its hugely  impressive torsional rigidity, yet it is also carries 50 percent less  weight than steel and is 30 percent lighter than aluminum. The  LifeDrive architecture and high proportion of CFRP and aluminum in the  car’s construction allow a previously unprecedented dimension in  weight optimization. The curb weight of the BMW i8 stands at  1,490 kilograms (3285 lb), and the LifeDrive architecture also has a  positive effect on how this weight is distributed. The battery unit is  positioned low down in a central position, helping to give the car a  low center of gravity and enhance safety accordingly. In fact, the  center of gravity of the BMW i8 is less than 18 inches  (460 millimeters) from the ground, making it lower than any other  current BMW Group model. And this, like the car’s near perfect 50 : 50  weight distribution, ensures excellent handling properties.

CFRP passenger cell: flexible in form, extremely strong in crash  tests. The LifeDrive architecture also allows exceptional levels  of freedom when it comes to body design. In the case of the BMW i8,  the result is an appearance that reflects the car’s sporting  characteristics, its innovative premium character and its  groundbreaking technology. The impressive structural strength of the  CFRP passenger cell allows particularly large door apertures, which in  turn ensure comfortable access to the rear seats of the BMW i8. The  structure of the distinctive doors, which open forward and upwards  like wings, is composed of a CFRP inner structure and an aluminum  outer skin. This construction is 50 percent lighter than a  conventional equivalent.

In its dry, resin-free state CFRP can be worked almost like a  textile, and as such allows a high degree of flexibility in how it is  shaped. The composite only gains its rigid, final form after the resin  injected into the lattice has hardened. This makes it at least as  durable as steel, but it is much more lightweight. The high tear  resistance along the length of the fiber also allows CFRP components  to be given a high-strength design by following their direction of  loading. To this end, the fibers are arranged within the component  according to their load characteristics. By overlaying the fiber  alignment, components can also be strengthened against load in several  different directions. In this way, the components can be given a  significantly more efficient and effective design than is possible  with any other material that is equally durable in all directions –   such as metal. This, in turn, allows further reductions in terms of  both material use and weight, leading to another new wave of savings  potential. The lower accelerated mass in the event of a crash means  that energy-absorbing structures can be scaled back, cutting the  weight of the vehicle.

LifeDrive architecture – conceived to maximize occupant  protection. The development of the LifeDrive architecture and the  version of it used for the BMW i8 incorporated the latest knowledge  from safety and accident research and the requirements of  international crash test procedures. The high-strength passenger  compartment teams up with the intelligent distribution of forces  within the LifeDrive module to provide the cornerstones for optimum  occupant protection. Even after the structurally debilitating offset  front crash with an impact speed of 64 km/h (40 mph), the extremely  rigid material used for the passenger cell maintains an intact  survival space for passengers. The crash-activated aluminum structures  at the front and rear end of the Drive module provide additional safety.

Impressive rigidity, combined with its ability to absorb an enormous  amount of energy, makes CFRP extremely damage-tolerant. Even at high  impact speeds it displays barely any deformation. As in a Formula One  cockpit, this exceptionally stiff material provides an extremely  strong survival space. Less body deformation occurs compared with  comparable steel bodies. Furthermore, the doors can be opened without  any problem and the interior remains largely free of intrusions.

Rescue scenarios were worked through and checked as part of the  development process. In standard cutting tests, the process of  rescuing occupants from a BMW i8 involved in an accident was, in  various scenarios, even more straightforward than that for  conventional vehicles. That is because body components made from CFRP  are lighter and can be more easily cut than high-strength steels, for example.

High safety reserves in a side-on impact. The impressive safety  characteristics of CFRP also come to the fore in side impact  scenarios. Despite the heavy, in some cases concentrated forces, the  material barely sustains a dent, and passengers enjoy unbeatable  protection. All of which makes CFRP perfectly suited for use in a  vehicle’s flanks, where every centimeter of undamaged interior is  invaluable. However, there are limits to what CFRP can endure. If the  forces applied go beyond the limits of the material’s strength, the  composite of fiber breaks up into its individual components in a  controlled process.

In the Euro NCAP side impact test, in which a pole strikes the side  of the vehicle dead center at 32 km/h (20 mph), CFRP again  demonstrates its extraordinary energy-absorbing capacity. The  Life module absorbs the entire impact with minimal deformation,  guaranteeing optimum passenger protection.

The occupant protection concept is rounded off by standard safety  equipment – including electronically controlled restraint systems – of  the same high standard in terms of scope and effectiveness as that  featured in vehicles from all the BMW Group’s brands. Front airbags  and side airbags integrated into the seat backrests, plus head/curtain  airbags for both rows of seats, are all standard, as are three-point  inertia-reel seatbelts including belt stoppers, belt tensioners and  belt force limiters for all seats.

Optimum protection for the high-voltage battery. Crash-active  aluminum structures in the front and rear sections of the vehicle  provide an impressive level of safety for the Drive module. In a front  or rear-end collision, these absorb a large proportion of the energy  generated. The battery, meanwhile, is mounted centrally in the  underbody section of the car to give it the best possible degree of  protection. Statistically, this is the area that absorbs the least  energy in the event of a crash, and the vehicle shows barely any  deformation here as a result.

The high-voltage system is designed to cope with accidents beyond the  legal requirements, with the high-voltage battery including features  that ensure its safe reaction even in situations such as this. The  latest series of tests conducted by the renowned DEKRA E-Mobility  Competence Center were extremely extensive – ranging from how a car  might catch fire, how the flames might spread and what would be  required to extinguish the fire, to the pollution caused by run-off of  the water used for fighting the fire. The experts concluded that  electric and hybrid cars with lithium-ion drive-system batteries are  just as safe as vehicles with conventional drive systems. To ensure  maximum safety in such a crash scenario, the high-voltage battery is  disconnected from the high-voltage system and the connected components  discharged when the passenger restraint systems are triggered.

Repair costs for the BMW i models are normal for their  class. Tests by vehicle insurers and BMW Accident Research show  that accidents primarily result in minor damage. In around 90 percent  of all recorded accidents involving conventional vehicles, the damage  sustained is to the outer skin. The BMW i8 takes account of this and  is equipped with thermoplastic body panels.

If a section of the external skin needs to be replaced, this can be  carried out quickly and economically. Overall, the accident repair  costs are at a comparable level to those for conventional BMW models.

“Cold” repair methods for aluminum parts, time-saving repairs for  CFRP components. Repairs to the aluminum structure of the  Drive module (welded as part of the series production process) are  carried out using the “cold” methods of bonding and riveting. These  methods have been in use successfully in BMW workshops since 2003.

The reparability of the Life module’s CFRP structure was already a  priority in the development of the vehicle concept; for example,  several repair stages were set out for the side frame. If a damaged  side sill needs to be replaced after a side impact, the workshop  carries out a visual inspection and damage assessment and then removes  only the section in need of repair using a patented milling tool. The  required side sill component is manufactured to fit and then installed  on the damaged vehicle. The new part is bonded to the separation  points using repair elements.

Any authorized BMW i dealer can repair the outer skin. However, due  to the product-specific features of the LifeDrive module, there will  be repair centers in which specialized employees take care of vehicles  with damage to the aluminum or CFRP structure.

Full-LED headlights offer bright, efficient illumination. The  slim headlights of the BMW i8 team up with the BMW kidney grille to  form a horizontal unit emphasizing the car’s width. The plug-in hybrid  sports car is fitted with powerful and energy-efficient full-LED  headlights. In their lower section, the light sources are framed by a  U-shaped bar into which are integrated the daytime driving lights,  sidelights and direction indicators. The intricately designed rear  light clusters also feature the U-shape typical of BMW i cars. All of  the lights on the BMW i8 are LEDs as standard.

The BMW i8 is the world’s first series-produced vehicle to be  available as an option with innovative laser headlights in markets  where the regulations allow (they currently do not comply with US  regulations). They generate a pure-white, extremely bright light that  is pleasant to the eye. The light is created through the conversion of  the beams emitted by tiny laser diodes by means of a fluorescent  phosphor material inside the headlight.

Laser lighting is monochromatic, which means that the light waves all  have the same length. They also have a constant phase difference. As a  result, laser lighting can produce a near-parallel beam with  impressive luminance, which gives it an intensity a thousand times  greater than that of conventional LEDs. The beam can also be adjusted  extremely precisely. At the same time, the further optimized inherent  efficiency of laser lighting means that laser headlights have less  than half the energy consumption of even LED headlights, which are  already very efficient. Laser lighting generates approximately  170 lumens (a photometric unit of light output) per watt, whereas LED  lighting generates around 100 lumens per watt.

BMW ConnectedDrive and 360° ELECTRIC: Intelligent connectivity.

Innovative driver assistance systems and BMW ConnectedDrive mobility  services developed specially for BMW i serve to enhance the driving  pleasure available on board the BMW i8 and the car’s efficiency in  equal measure. Intelligent connectivity optimizes comfort, safety and  the use of infotainment features while on the move. It also helps the  driver to enjoy the performance attributes of the plug-in hybrid  sports car to the full, while at the same time keeping energy  consumption – in both gasoline and electric form – as low as possible.  BMW ConnectedDrive therefore effectively becomes an extension of the  Efficient Dynamics strategy. The variety of tools it offers to further  improve the balance between driving pleasure and energy consumption is  unique worldwide and makes an additional contribution to the  progressive character of the BMW i8.

Added to this, an extensive range of products and services from  360° ELECTRIC are available for the BMW i brand’s second  series-produced model. The 360° ELECTRIC portfolio focuses on home  charging, charging at public charging stations, keeping drivers on the  road and integration into innovative mobility concepts. As such it  promotes the comfortable, reliable and flexible utilization of  electric mobility. This package of features also helps to make maximum  use of the efficiency potential inherent in the vehicle concept and  drive system technology of the BMW i8. Maximizing the use of the  electric motor and feeding renewably generated electricity into the  high-voltage battery significantly improves the CO2 rating of the  plug-in hybrid sports car.

The BMW i8 is equipped as standard with an integrated SIM card which  provides the intelligent connectivity required to use the mobility  services from BMW ConnectedDrive. It also introduces navigation  services specially developed to enhance electric mobility – such as  the Range Assistant with dynamic range map – alongside familiar  features, including the Concierge Services information facility, the  Intelligent Emergency Call function and the Online Entertainment  music-on-demand service. Moreover, drivers can use the BMW i Remote  app to share information with their car at any time using their  smartphone. For example, they can use their phone to control the  charging process for the high-voltage battery and, while that is  happening, also oversee the advance preparation of the vehicle before  a journey.

Proactive drivetrain management ensures maximum efficiency and an  optimum electric driving experience. Like the vehicle concept –   which offers an optimum platform for the broad-spread application of  lightweight construction and optimized aerodynamic properties – and  the BMW i8’s drive system technology, intelligent energy management  also plays its part in imbuing the car with its outstanding levels of  efficiency. This function controls the interplay between the  combustion engine and electric motor with the aim of optimizing the  balance between driving pleasure and fuel consumption in everyday use.  This allows the BMW i8 to combine the performance of a pure-bred  sports car with small car-like fuel consumption and emissions. A  bespoke display and control concept and the link-up between the  driver, car and outside world provided by BMW ConnectedDrive bolster  the efficiency-enhancing effect of the energy management system. At  the same time, they make the targeted management of energy flows in  the BMW i8 something the driver can experience in considerable depth.

The specially adapted version of the fully digital instrument display  fitted in the BMW i8 shows the car’s speed and driving status  information in a format and color selected to suit the driving mode  currently engaged. SPORT mode brings traditional circular instruments  for speed and rpm readouts. In COMFORT mode a “power meter” display  replaces the rev counter to keep the driver up to speed on what the  electric motor is up to, while ECO PRO mode adds an efficiency  display, which encourages drivers to maximize fuel efficiency through  their use of the accelerator.

The standard Navigation system links up with a version of the  proactive drivetrain management system likewise specially developed  for the BMW i8. When the route guidance function is activated, the  drivetrain management is configured to ensure the electric motor is  employed as extensively as possible and as wisely as possible from an  efficiency point of view. The system analyses the route in full and  sets up the drivetrain management, including energy recuperation  strategy, to run on purely electric power over low-speed sections of  the journey in particular. In so doing it ensures, for example, that  the battery has sufficient capacity to cover the final stage of a  longer journey through a built-up area in all-electric mode.

The performance characteristics of the electric motor and the  capacity of the high-voltage battery have been set up to allow BMW i8  drivers to meet their urban mobility needs on electric power alone.  Special displays in the instrument cluster keep the driver permanently  informed of the remaining range (in kilometers) in all-electric  driving mode. The map display function of the Navigation system also  contains a dynamic range display which uses a spidergram (range map)  to show the area the car can cover on electric power alone. The map  view also displays the location of public charging stations, allowing  drivers to plan their journeys to incorporate a stop-off to charge the  high-voltage battery. This means that additional battery capacity is  then available for the remainder of the journey, which can either be  used to continue the journey emission-free or to maximize the car’s  dynamic performance by using the electric motor and combustion engine  in tandem.

An all-round solution providing intelligent connectivity: the driver  assistance package from BMW ConnectedDrive. As well as the  Navigation system, standard specification for the BMW i8 also features  a cruise control system with braking function, a rain sensor including  automatic headlight activation, and Park Distance Control (PDC) with  sensors at the front and rear of the car. The BMW ConnectedDrive  driver assistance package available as an option comprises High Beam  Assistant, a rear view camera, Surround View, Speed Limit Info  including No Passing Info display, and Collision Warning with  pedestrian recognition and braking function.

The standard full-LED headlights of the BMW i8 also feature daytime  running light and cornering light functions, the latter illuminating  the section of road the car is turning into. High Beam Assistant also  helps to optimize visibility during the hours of darkness by assisting  the driver in making maximum possible use of the high-beam headlights.  The system uses a camera positioned on the windscreen near the  rear-view mirror to detect oncoming traffic and vehicles travelling  ahead to ensure the headlights dip in good time.

Meanwhile, the BMW i8 adds a rear-view camera and the Surround View  system to PDC to ensure safe and comfortable maneuvering. In addition  to the rear view camera and the PDC sensors, the Surround View system  also uses two cameras in the wing mirrors to go about its work. The  data it collects is processed by a central computer which generates an  overall view of the car and the area around it. This is then shown in  the Control Display from a bird’s-eye perspective. The additional Side  View system uses a pair of cameras mounted in the front of the car to  ensure the driver is able to spot cross-traffic early – for example,  when pulling out from tight gateways.

The Speed Limit Info system displays speed and passing restrictions  on the car’s current route. It also sources the information it  requires from the windshield-mounted camera and checks it against the  data from the navigation system. The camera identifies traffic signs  at the edge of the road and overhead signs on motorways. Safety in  city traffic is further enhanced by Collision Warning with braking  function and pedestrian recognition. This system can be used at speeds  of up to 60 km/h (37 mph) and initially generates a visual warning in  the instrument cluster if there is a danger of collision. If this is  not heeded, an urgent warning then prompts the driver to intervene  with a flashing version of the symbol and an audible signal. At the  same time, the brakes are applied.

The BMW i8 also offers the driver the services of the  BMW Head-Up Display which projects important driving data onto the  windshield. Information including the car’s speed, status alerts from  the driver assistance systems, Check Control messages, speed limits  and overtaking restrictions can all be displayed in the driver’s  direct field of vision.

The ConnectedDrive Services opens up an array of internet-based  services to the driver. These include access to the BMW Online portal,  the Online Entertainment features and the use of apps for further  comfort and infotainment functions. The likewise optional Real Time  Traffic Information system delivers precise traffic congestion  warnings and detour recommendations in real time.

360° ELECTRIC: emission-free driving in unbeatable comfort. The  BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car always achieves top marks for  efficiency when it starts a journey with its high-voltage battery  fully charged. For customers who have the use of a garage or private  parking space, BMW i offers bespoke solutions under 360° ELECTRIC  which enable the battery pack to be charged at home or at work safely,  simply and extremely quickly.

BMW i provides owners with a charging cable to plug into a standard  110 v power outlet and a special charging point (the BMW i Charging  Station). As well as supplying and installing the Charging Station,  BMW i also checks its installation in customers’ homes and provides  maintenance, advice and other services. Plugging the car into a  standard 110 v power outlet returns the empty high-voltage battery to  full charge in 3.5  hours, while using the BMW i Charging Station  completes the process in 1.5 hours.

The charging process can be monitored on a graphic display in the  instrument cluster of the BMW i8, as well as via the BMW i Remote app  on a smartphone. The driver can view the current battery charge level  and the electric range possible (in kilometers) with the available  energy capacity. Charging can be initiated either immediately or at a  later time – in order to make use of off-peak electricity rates at  night, for example. Added to which, charging the battery from the  BMW i Charging Station allows the passenger compartment to be prepared  in advance for an upcoming journey so that the driver and passengers  are greeted by a pleasant onboard temperature without having to use  energy from the high-voltage battery to heat or cool the interior.

Its 360° ELECTRIC initiative also sees BMW i backing the use of  electricity from renewable sources in other ways, and the brand has  joined forces with selected partners to offer a choice of green power  solutions in all markets. A strategic alliance between BMW AG and  German eco power supplier naturstrom AG will in future give customers  in Germany the opportunity to obtain an eco power package for running  their BMW i vehicle. The company supplies electricity entirely from  renewable sources, with a very high proportion coming from wind power.  This means the high-voltage battery of the BMW i8 can be supplied with  energy generated with zero CO2 output.

Thanks to collaboration with car park operators and public charging  station providers, BMW i also grants customers highly reliable access  to the public charging infrastructure. Together with its partners,  BMW i assists the link-up between the vehicle, the driver and the  outside world, providing users with comfort-enhancing features – such  as the display of available charging stations in the navigation system  and on the customer’s smartphone, as well as a simple and transparent  payment method with the ChargeNow card. This card enables access to  charging poles operated by various providers and offers a cashless  means of payment.

The BMW i8 will arrive in US showrooms in spring of 2014 with a base  Manufcturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $135,925 including destination  and handling.








BMW i8 Preliminary Technical Data

No. of doors/seats 2 / 4
Length/width/height        (unladen) Mm        (in) 4689          (184.6) / 1942 (76.5) / 1293 (51)
Wheelbase Mm (in) 2800 (110.2)
Weight, unladen (DIN) Kg (lb) < 1490 (3285 lb)
Air resistance Cd 0.26
Drive system
Technology  combustion        engine BMW TwinPower Turbo technology:           turbocharger, High Precision Direct Gasoline Injection,          VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control
Config/No of        cyls/valves In-line          / 3 / 4
Capacity, effective cm3 1499
Output kW/hp 170 / 231
Torque Nm (lb-ft) 320 (236)
Technology electric        motor BMW eDrive technology: hybrid synchronous          motor with power electronics, integrated charging module and          generator mode for recuperation
Output kW/hp 96 / 131
Torque Nm (lb-ft) 250 (184 lb-ft)
Total system output kW/hp 266 / 362
Torque Nm (lb-ft) 570 (420)
High-voltage battery
Storage technology Lithium-ion
Driving        dynamics
Drive concept Hybrid-specific all-wheel drive,           combustion engine driving the rear wheels,           electric motor driving the front wheels
Tires front/rear 195/50 R20 / 215/45 R20
Wheels front/rear 7J x 20 light-alloy / 7.5J x 20 light-alloy
Type of transmission combustion        engine 6-speed automatic
Type of transmission           electric motor Automatic, two-stage
Acceleration    0–100        km/h s 4.4
                        80–120        km/h s 4.5
Top speed km/h (mph) 250 (155)
Top speed electric km/h (mph) 120 (75)
Range electric Km (miles) approx 35 (22)
Consumption in EU        cycle
Combined ltr/100 km (mpg)  2.5 (94)
CO2 g/km  59

All Technical data are provisional and based on EU measures.


BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since  1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in  2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include  marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW  brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and  the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic  design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon  Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW  Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global  manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all  X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The  BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through  networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle  centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers,  and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW  Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff  Lake, New Jersey.