The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car has officially landed. Coming on the heels of the electric i3, the i8 is BMW's centerpiece at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The i8 is a 2+2-seater whose passenger cell is made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.
Propulsion for the 1,490kg car comes from a hybrid system that consists of a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine (231hp and 320Nm) with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology; a model-specific 131hp hybrid synchronous electric motor; and a lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling and usable capacity of 5kWh. The gasoline engine sends power to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the electric motor channels power to the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission.
Functioning as one whole unit, the hybrid system has a maximum output of 362hp and a maximum torque of 570Nm. These numbers allow the i8 to go from zero to 100kph in 4.4sec.
The i8 features five driving modes:
* Electric mode with a range of up to 35km and a top speed of 120kph;
* Comfort mode with optimum balance between dynamics and efficiency;
* Hybrid mode with a range of over 500km;
* Sport mode with ultra-intense boost function provided by the electric motor; and
* Eco Pro mode which can be used in both all-electric and hybrid modes
The BMW i8 is reportedly dropping in the US market in the spring of 2014 with a "base manufacturer's suggested retail price" of $135,925 (or P5,960,278). If and when it becomes available in the Philippines, expect the selling price to be at least double that for a whopping P12 million.