The doors comprise a CFRP inner structure and an aluminium outer skin. This reduces the weight of the door by 50 per cent compared with a conventional design. The high-quality, naturally tanned leather of the seats highlights the “next premium”, sustainable philosophy of BMW I. The magnesium instrument panel support saves weight on two fronts – firstly through intelligent design, leading to around 30 per cent weight savings compared, for example, with the BMW 6 Series. In addition, the high structural rigidity provides a strengthening effect which allows the number of components to be reduced, thereby lowering weight by a further 10 per cent. Innovative foam plastic technology used in the air conditioning ducts brings 60 per cent weight savings over conventional components, 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 aluminium wiring brings further weight reductions. Lightweight design is also a feature of the BMW i8’s chassis systems – including the wheels, where the standard-fitted 20-inch forged aluminium wheels combine aerodynamic design with weight savings. The rigorous application of the lightweight design strategy even extends to aluminium screws and bolts, which are around 45 per cent lighter than corresponding steel components, with the same strength and functionality.
The BMW i8 is also the world’s first volume-produced vehicle to be equipped with chemically hardened glass. This innovative technology, to date used mainly in Smartphone manufacturing, results in very high 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 millimetres thick, with acoustic sheeting sandwiched between. In addition to excellent acoustic properties, a further advantage of this solution is weight savings of around 50 per cent compared with conventional laminated glass.
For maximum driving pleasure and efficiency: BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and electric motor developed by the BMW Group. The plug-in hybrid 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