The BMW i8 draws closer

Excitement is steadily mounting in the car world for the official unveiling of the BMW i8 supercar. As the finishing touches are made on the vehicle, the German automobile manufacturer has recently revealed design details of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which is due to release next year.

The most progressive and innovative sports car of its time

With the i8 concept dubbed the most progressive and innovative sports car of its time, weighing 1450 kilos, the BMW i8’s design will closely resemble that of the original concept, featuring pop-up doors and wing-like rear spoilers.

The same innovative driver assistance systems featured on all i models will be included, such as One Pedal Control, Active Brake Control, Congestion Assist and Navigation Assist.

As a means of adapting to varying driving conditions, the car will utilise the very latest advancements in car engineering and as such, can be driven as front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

What has also been confirmed is that electric i8 will be the only version of the car. Whilst BMW had considered releasing a petrol model, utilising either a V8 or V10 engine, this idea has since been scrapped.

Electric efficiency

One of the current drawbacks of electric car technology is the power in comparison to more traditional petrol or diesel driven models. BMW have looked to address this by maintaining that, at full capacity, the car can shift 0-62mph in an impressive 4.9secs, with a top speed of 156mph achievable – which is beyond the capability of any vehicle powered by a combustion engine of comparable performance currently on the market. Whilst previous BMW models such as the i1, i3 and i5 relied on single-speed transmission, the i8 has a four-speed gearbox which delivers a considerably improved performance range.

Whilst BMW have sought to improve performance the German automobile manufacturers insist that all round efficiency of the vehicle remains strong and that it can be used as an everyday vehicle

Jos van As, head of chassis development for all BMW models says, “We are aware certain customers will use the i8 every day. It needs to offer sufficient low speed compliance for commuting in combination with the control required at higher speeds.”

Recharging the battery will typically take around six hours, however were you to have access to a high-voltage mains, BMW suggest a full recharge for the vehicle could be achieved in less than one hour.

How much will it cost?

Whilst the incorporation of futuristic technology, stunning design and combination of speed and comfort are all immensely appealing features, it will come at a price to the customer.

Putting aside the potential high cost of car insurance, set to retail for around £100,000, the BMW i8’s price tag will pit it directly against more conventional sports car models such as the Porsche 911 Carrera.

However, with BWM estimating sales will be in the region of 10,000 per year suggests the automobile makers have full confidence in their car holding its own against fellow rivals in the industry.

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