The upcoming BMW i8 has been caught testing one more time. This time around, the prototype has dropped more of its camouflage and reveals some never-before-seen details. For example, for the first time we can see the typical BMW Hoffmeister kink at the rear side window as well as the real side skirts that now match the i8 Concept car . Other changes include the new position of the door handles, the new sportier looking side mirrors and more visible kidney grilles.
The BMW i8 will be powered by a 1.5-liter in-line thee-cylinder engine combined with two electric motors with an output of 95 horsepower each. The engine will mate to a new double-clutch transmission and will sprint the future supercar from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. The i8 will also boast a top speed of 155 mph.
The BMW i8 is well set to debut sometime in 2013 with sales to begin shortly after at an estimated price tag of $250,000.
A few months ago it was rumored that BMW’s i sub-brand was facing some difficulties. Apparently, things must have smoothed out a little, as at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show BMW will expand its "i" lineup with the addition of a all-new i3 Coupe Concept. To no one’s surprise, this new concept will feature the same carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) body as the previously announced concepts and under the hood you will find an electric motor with some pretty stout numbers.
The new i3 Concept Coupe sit atop the same platform as the standard i3, but it adds a gracefully flowing roofline and a fresh interpretation of the BMW i "stream flow" design. Exterior updates include a modified front fascia, restyled doors and new side skirts and for the rear new tailgate and a revised bumper.
So, is this new coupe version of the i3 worth all of the hype that will certainly surround it, or is this just another gimmick to drive up interest in the i sub-brand?
UPDATE 12/13/12: BMW has released a new driving video of the i3 Concept Coupe as it takes to the streets in what looks like downtown LA. Click on the photo above to check out the vid!
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe and find out.
For people who have always wanted to see the the much-anticipated BMW i8 Concept Roadster , BMW will soon grant your wish.
BMW has announced that the North American debut of its concept, open-top supercar will occur at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show , which opens its doors to the public next week. This debut will allow people to actually enjoy the design in person and will also give us some insight on the future design language that the Bavarian giant will employ.
It’s not only the design that will impress, but the theoretical performance of the concept is also to be admired. Powered by a frugal 3-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 134 horsepower and an electric motor that produces 220 horsepower, the total output of the powertrain comes close to 354 horsepower. With its modular carbon-fiber construction and 50-50 weight distribution, this hybrid powertrain propels the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and to a limited top speed of 155 mph.
With hybrid technology being this concept’s key selling point, you likely expect exceptional fuel economy. Well, the i8 definitely doesn’t disappoint in that aspect, as it features an impressive 78 mpg.
The i8 Roadster will be launched for sale sometime in 2014 and is expected to cost about $130,000. If this is true, then roadster enthusiasts, start saving up because this Bimmer is truly a keeper.
So BMW and Peugeot Citroën (PSA) were once a happy couple, just humming along in a deal that would help bring more hybrid and EV technology to both brands. All was well and good, and the relationship was blossoming into a mutually beneficial deal with no signs of issues. That was until General Motors decided to start flirting with the French automaker.
PSA decided that the grass was indeed greener on the other side and formed a deal with GM to increase its stake in producing vehicles with the American automaker. This apparently is a fatal blow to the deal between BMW and PSA, but BMW i sn’t letting PSA get away Scott-free. Part of the BMW-PSA deal was that the two automakers would jointly build a factory to manufacture the hybrid and EV technology and BMW is holding PSA to its promises by demanding €50 million, according to media outlets in France.
With the automotive world in Europe seeing the same types of struggles that the U.S. auto industry went through just a few years ago, €50 million is a lot of money for PSA to pony up. PSA hasn’t yet issued a response to Bimmer’s claim, but chances are this is ultimately the fatal blow to the once-promising BMW-PSA deal.
We’re curious if the upcoming i8 hybrid was secretly a part of the hybrid technology that the two were planning to share. If so, this could be a key reason that BMW has been eerily quiet about the much-anticipated i8. We’ll keep an eye on this situation and let you know what comes of it.
A123 has been put through the ringer in recent history, most notably with its massive battery recall, and now it is just about belly up. Things were starting to look up for the battery make when it announced that a $450 million deal had been reached with Wanxiang Group Corp, but that deal recently fell through.
Now the inevitable is upon A123, as news came across the board that A123 had filed for bankruptcy protection, despite having received a $249 million government grant. With this bankruptcy filing also comes the likely liquidation of its assets. It appears as if A123 has already gotten a head start on this liquidation by negotiating to sell off its automotive business to Johnson Controls – well-known for building nearly every lead-acid and gel battery sold.
The deal is not yet done, but it is reportedly for the sum of $125 million and will include the Fisker , GM, and BMW contracts that A123 has already inked. Part of the proposed deal includes Johnson Controls fronting A123 $72.5 million in “debtor possession” funds to keep the bankrupt company running while the sale is being completed. There is no timetable for the completion of the deal, but per the press release, things will continue as usual for A123 during the entire sale process.
All we can hope for is a full turnaround once this technology gets in the hands of Johnson Controls, as the fate of the EV realm rests heavily on the technologies developed by A123. This could possibly be part of the reason that Fisker wasn’t shy about announcing that the upcoming Atlantic was delayed. We’ll also keep an eye on the Chevy Spark EV project to see if that is put on hold until this situation is resolved.
Despite previous rumors, BMW is continuing the development of their new i sub-brand. After the i3 was spied last week, our spy photographers have also been able to capture the i8 during hot weather testing in Southern Europe. This time, they have managed to get closer to the i8 and take a couple of shots of the car’s interior.
While the shots aren’t the best, it is easy to see that the production version will drop the concept ’s funky design and will adopt a more conventional layout with elements already seen in the 3-Series and the Z4 .
As for the engine, the production version will combine a 1.5 liter three-cylinder powering the front wheels with two electric motors at the rear for a total output of about 400 HP. The i8 will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the BMW i8 is all its cracked up to be and not a complete flop. We absolutely love this car, but some signs point to a near fail.
The upcoming BMW i sub-brand has had a few bumps in the road along its way to production, but despite rumors of the project’s termination, BMW is still working towards their goal with at least a couple of the originally planned models. In these spy shots, we can see the new prototypes of the i3 , which have been caught hot weather testing in Southern Europe after previously being spotted in the snow.
The future BMW i3 features the same roof line and window in the C-pillar as seen on the i3 Concept and on previous test models. The i3 will also get suicide doors like the ones on the Clubman and will be built on a new LifeDrive architecture that will help reduce the car’s weight by 550-660 lbs. This architecture consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules: the Drive module which integrates the battery, drive system, and structural and crash functions, and the Life module which consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP.
The production i3 will use a powerful 170 HP electric engine that will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and up to a top speed of 93 mph. The model is rumored to be priced at about $55K.
We use the Interwebz for all sorts of really cool things. We can shop for groceries, buy Christmas presents, watch movies, stalk people on Facebook, etc. There has always been one thing that we could not do, though, and that is buy a car. Sure, you can add features and order a car until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately, you are still stuck with whatever the dealer has available – or can make a profit on.
Well, BMW is looking to change your car buying experience altogether with a new system that will allow you to actually buy cars online, according to Bloomberg. BMW will start this system with its i-Series , which has been whittled down to just the i8 and i3 , in an attempt to offset high production costs.
This will, of course, start off as just an experiment and grow from there. BMW also has to get a little fancy with how it pulls this off in the U.S., as most states forbid manufacturers from selling directly to buyers (strange law). This will likely include the introduction of third-party sales sites that handle the selling and financing of the vehicles for a much lesser rate than paying a sales person commission.
One other hurdle is how to handle the test drive part, but Tesla has already shown us how to do that: set up a few small retail shops that have a few examples of each model and pay the employees a salary just to take prospective buyers on test drives. Then again, we have doubts about Tesla’s commission-less sales actually working out, but it is a possibility, especially with the end sales occurring online.
Just think... No more greedy F&I guy with his 3-inch-thick gold chain and massive gold rings trying to sell you some outlandish service package that really doesn’t cover anything or costs more than servicing the car normally. What a wonderful concept!
While the future of the BMW i-sub-brand is very uncertain at this point, thei8 Concept is still making strides by winning the title of the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year. The selection process involved a total of 34 vehicles and the juries more than likely chose vehicles that would shape the future of the automobile industry in the way they would like to see it.
Now back to the winner. The BMW i8 Concept previews a futuristic hybrid vehicle set to arrive sometime in 2013. The production version will combine a 1.5 liter inline 3-cylinder engine with two electric motors that produce an output of 95 HP each. The final output will be in the 400 HP area.
"With lines that remind me of icy water in a mountain stream, the BMW i8 takes open top driving into a new realm of environmental responsibility, with the mission of the ultimate driving machine firmly embedded," said juror Bill Schaffer. Juror Chris Poole states: "The i8 concept wraps innovative construction and powertrain technologies in a functional, eye-catching new design language that will be exclusive to the upcoming eco sub-brand it previews. It’s an impressive blend of supercar style and speed with future-oriented mpg and emissions performance."
We absolutely love the BMW i8 , we really do, and we are excited to see exactly what BMW brings to showrooms with its anticipated 2013 release. As we sit back and ponder a little bit more about the i8, we begin to notice that the i8 has a pretty good chance of being an absolute flop. Now, before you BMW enthusiasts start picketing in front of the TopSpeed offices, hear us out, and understand that we are just saying there’s a possibility.
So BMW is touting around the 350 to 400 combined horsepower in the i8, but we often glance right past that “combined” word and only see the total output. In reality, the i8 only boasts about 220 ponies and 221 pound-feet of torque from its gasoline power plant. The remaining power comes from the two electric motors powering the front wheels. In addition, this combination is what allows the i8 to hit 60 mph in sub-5-second times.
From what we are told by BMW, the i8 can run on electric power only for about 20 miles and the electric motors are battery powered, which gains no regenerative power from the 3-pot engine in the rear. So once the batteries die, you’re stuck piloting this likely heavy car with only 220 ponies. This becomes even more of an issue, as BMW has kept rather mum on the topic of how far the car will actually go on the combined gas-electric power.
If the batteries discharge, you are not going to sniff a 5-second 0 to 60 time, as a lot of the torque responsible for such lightning-fast acceleration is provided by these electric motors. Sans those electric aids, you are likely looking at a 8- or 9-second sprint to 60 mph, which is rather disappointing in a car that is certain to crest to $100K mark when it hits showrooms.
Again, this is purely just a look ahead at what could potentially make the i8 a bust. We certainly hope that BMW has figured out a way to prevent this from happening.