BMW unveils production ready i8 plug-in hybrid in Frankfurt

BMW has finally unveiled the i8 plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the second model from new brand BMW i.

The 2+2-seater with LifeDrive architecture features life module passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), while the plug-in hybrid system combines a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, delivering 231 hp and 320 Nm of torque and a hybrid synchronous electric motor with 131 hp and 250 Nm of torque.

The petrol engine sends power to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the power from the electric motor is sent to the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission.

Lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling has usable capacity of 5 kWh, which translates to a range of up to 22 miles on electric power alone.

Combined power output is 362 hp and 570 Nm of torque, enabling the 1,490kg car to reach 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds, while the combined fuel economy is 113 mpg.

Design wise the production model is very similar to the concept, but downed down a bit. The see-through doors did not make it to the production model, but they still open upwards. The alloys are not as futuristic, but the laser headlights are still available as an option.

The i8 will go on sale in late 2013 for around £100,000.


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