The much-anticipated BMW i8 plug-in hybrid electric car is entering production in April, with customer deliveries beginning in June. The car will be available in the European market first followed by many other countries. Beforehand, special public events will be held in various regions all over the world for the promotion of the i8.
The complete specifications of the hybrid car were recently revealed and were more impressive than the initial impressions. With fuel consumption of 39.65 kmpl for this plug-in hybrid, the i8 is positioned for commercial success. The electricity consumption was rated at 19.1 kWh per 160 kilometres, a good figure for a sports car.
The company claims the car sprints 0-100 kmph in 4.4 seconds and can go upto 250 kmph (electronically limited). As a plug-in hybrid it has an all electric range of 37 kilometres from the 7.1 kw battery, which can be charged 80 percent in less than two hours using a 230-v socket. The internal-combustion engine is activated when the battery drops below a specified minimum voltage or at high speeds.The i8 is an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, with a motor for each axle. There is a 131 HP electric motor powering the front wheels. On the rear axle, there’s a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged unit making 231 HP. The two motors in combined churns out 362 HP. When the car drives in the zero-emission all-electric mode, the front motor powers the car, thus becoming a front-wheel drive vehicle.
The i8 weighs just below 1500 kgs., because of the extensive use of carbon fiber– a composite material that is lighter than steel and aluminum but has similar strength to steel and can withstand high stress. Customers have already been able to place pre-orders for the BMW i8 in all major markets since autumn 2013. However, according to BMW, the demand for the BMW i8 is already exceeding the planned production volume during ramp-up. In India, 8 units will be available for sale at an estimated price of Rs. 1.5 crore, ex-showroom Delhi.