BMW i

BMW i

Read the BMW i8’s specs all day long and it’s still hard to believe the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, hybrid-powered 2+2 coupe is capable of doing the things a proper sports car can do. Sure it’s turbocharged, but its still a three-cylinder! Remember the Geo Metro? Yeah, it was thee-banger and sported all of 55 horsepower. That’s what comes to mind when I hear three-cylinder.

But never mind all that. BMW’s sorcery and electrification coax a combined 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque to spin all four wheels. With a curb weight of 3,360 pounds, the i8 magically rockets to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.

This Prius killer is a competent handler, too. Its carbon-fiber center section is reinforced with aluminum while substructures at each end hold up the suspension, engine, and steering mechanisms. Bridgestone Potenza tires sized in 215/45R20 and 245/40R 20 do the road holding.

This video evidence is still hard to believe, though all the stats (besides cylinder count and displacement) say otherwise. BMW has sure done its homework, and I look forward to what else is coming down the pipeline from the new i Division.

As the power density of engines grow and smaller displacements become the norm, my existing notions of three-cylinder power need adjustment.

The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car had its moment in the spotlight during the inaugural Formula E Championship race in Beijing over the weekend. But outside of what we all saw, do we honestly know a whole lot about the i8 Qualcomm Safety Car that makes it different from other i8s ?

The obvious answer would be to point to all of its safety equipment, which is critical to its function as the series’ official safety car. But what we didn’t know was whether the i8 was up-to-task in a serious racing environment, even if it comes in the form of electric-powered race cars .

All our questions were answered in the lead-up to the race when Qualcomm’s Edward Van Boheemen and Pat Kusbel were invited to drive around the racetrack on-board the i8 Safety car driven by Nelson Piquet Jr.

During the entire ride, the two Qualcomm engineers were asked to explain how they brought Qualcomm’s inventions into cars. It seemed like a fairly easy question for Van Boheemen and Kusbel given their backgrounds. But what both didn’t expect was Picquet Jr. treating the i8 Qualcomm Safety Car like a real racer, blasting it around the track while the two aimlessly tried to answer the questions posed to them.

It’s hilarious to watch these engineers attempt to get their points across while the i8 flings them all around.

The BMW i8 is the first sports car to come from Munich in a very long time. But is the hybrid a true sports car ? According to its output and performance figures, as well as its 3,200-pound curb weight, it is. It’s actually lighter than the Porsche 911 , the benchmark of all sports cars, but how does this German machine stack against its Stuttgart-built rival in a straight line? Well, that’s what the folks over at Evo wanted to find out by pitting the i8 and the 911 Carrera S against each other on an airfield.

As we’ve previously mentioned, the i8 weighs in at around 3,200 pounds and benefits from 357 hybrid horses and 420 pound-feet of torque, which travel to all four wheels. The Porsche, on the other hand, sits better on the horsepower front with 430 ponies, but it has deficiency of 100 pound-feet of torque when compared to the Bimmer. It’s also slightly heavier and has a rear-wheel-drive configuration. Sounds like a close call, and indeed it is. The winner is only 0.3 seconds faster in the quarter-mile and 0.8 seconds quicker in the standing-kilometer run.

We won’t spoil the outcome, so you just head above and hit the play button for a full-throttle, straight-line comparison.

It is no secret that car enthusiasts often buy strange things just because they are related to their favorite cars. I, for one, went through my phases of buying old ignition keys, hubcaps and emblems in my younger years, and I know many of my gearhead friends went through equally weird buying phases. This item, however, seems excessive even to me.

Up for sale on eBay today is a BMW i8 , and the bid is currently at only $19,100, but the reserve is not yet met as of 8/26/2014. Sounds like this may be the bargain of the century, right? Well, you may want to chill out a bit and put your itchy bidding finger away. This is merely a display-only shell of the i8 that a dealership bought from Bimmer to show off on its showroom floor. Yeah, talk about a buzz kill, right?

According to the seller, this shell is made from fiberglass and measures about 15.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide by 5.5 feet tall, which is almost the exact size of the actual i8 — only the height is off by about a foot from the real deal, but that could be a typo in the ad. There is no engine, no transmission, no interior, the doors do not open and it rolls on casters.

I could think of about 1,000 other things I could spend $19,000 on, but some people may find this display car as the perfect addition to their auto collection. If you happen to be one of those people, you had better hurry, as the bidding ends on August 29th, 2014 at 11:32 PDT.

And if you are about to bid on this, you may want to contact me first, as I have a bridge to sell that you may be interested in...

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8

Source: eBay

The unique i8 hybrid sports car German automaker BMW built for the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance fetched $825,000 during Gooding & Company’s annual Pebble Beach auction. Sold ahead of the official vehicle U.S. sale date for about six time the sticker — set at $135,700 — the i8 Concours d’Elegance has set a record that’s likely to stick around for a few years.

Proceeds of the i8’s sale will go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, which raises funds for Monterey County youth. The foundation is known for awarding grants for arts, athletics, environmental sciences, educational organizations and community programs.

The winning bidder takes home a one-of-a-kind BMW i8 finished in a bespoke, Individual exterior color, and fitted with custom upholstery and trim accents. More importantly, he gets to drive the hybrid sports car long before it reaches North American dealerships.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’ Elegance Edition

The BMW i8 has become a sales hit in the UK. Actually, it’s become more than a hit if you consider reports that it’s already sold out and that there’s already a 10-month waiting list to get your hands on the hybrid sports car . British newspaper Telegraph is reporting that the demand for the i8 has become so incredible that customers are even willing to pay "any price" for the display car in BMW’s i showroom on Park Lane in London.

It’s a dramatic turn of fortune for BMW , which initially expressed fears that the i8 wouldn’t command the same amount of attention as it had hoped. It was a gamble to build it in the very beginning, especially when the German automaker made it clear that the i8 would only feature a rather petite, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, combining to produce a total output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

But even the £95,000 ($135,925 here in the U.S. as of 8/12/2014) price tag of the i8 couldn’t dissuade buyers from putting in deposits for the car as early as 2012, even before BMW announced that production for the hybrid would ensue. BMW Park Lane sales manager even told the Telegraph that the i8 has become the "biggest conquest car I’ve known as a BMW salesman."

Something tells me that BMW enjoyed hearing those words. At least more so now that the decision and subsequent risk it took in producing the i8 is turning out to be a stroke of genius at this point.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

Source: Telegraph
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

If you aren’t familiar, Chris Harris is one of the better journalists out there. He’s made a name for himself by getting into arguments with Ferrari — and more importantly — destroying tires (or tyres since he’s English). The one thing that’s always great about a Chris Harris video review, is how well he can diagnose a car. He’s been in the game a long time and has driven everything from ancient, decrepit Citroen 2CV’s to hypercars like the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari . This makes him very diverse, and able to enjoy many different types of car, he doesn’t limit himself to old muscle cars with manual gearboxes or modern high-tech sports cars with all the newest of gadgets. He simply enjoys cars for what they are, he’s a proper gearhead (or petrolhead because again...English). So when he put out this video driving the i8, I payed attention.

The i8 is a technological powerhouse, using technologies and techniques not available on anything in its price range. It has a mid-mounted, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine, making 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 129-horsepower electric motor to make a combined power out put of 362 ponies. The benefit of electric power is the instantaneous torque, and when combined with the turbo three-banger, the i8 produces a whopping 420 pound-feet of it. All this is sent through a variation of the six-speed auto in the new Mini Cooper (the engine is also carried over from the Mini), and delivered to all four wheels.

The chassis of the i8 is a monocoque tub made from CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), so it’s incredibly light for a hybrid with big heavy batteries. The i8 weighs only 3,378 pounds. This makes it heavier than both the Corvette Stingray (3,298 pounds) and the Porsche 911 Carrera (3,042 pounds), but since the chassis is made out of CFRP and the batteries are laid out down the spine of the car, it feels much lighter and more nimble than it’s weight would suggest. This is also aided by the fact that it has that 420 pound-feet of torque from almost the second you touch the accelerator. In the video Chris explains how it doesn’t feel as pure and organic as a 911 but it’s close, and with all of the new technologies, it brings new exciting elements to the table.

Then there’s the look of the thing. To these eyes it’s the most interesting looking car on the road today, if not the most beautiful. This gives the Jag F-Type a run for it’s money. It’s not beautiful in the classic sense, but it is stunning in a modern art sort of way. It looks like the future, and it sort of is. Sports cars need to become fuel efficient nowadays and the new i Division cars are paving the way for that green future. I’m not a fan of electric cars but this one has me intrigued and it intrigues Chris as well. Real gearheads can appreciate when something is new and innovative, when it pushes the ball forward, and that’s exactly what you see here in the i8 and exactly what Chris talks about while driving it. Watch the video, it won’t disappoint.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Mysterious marketing can be fun. It’s a way to pique peoples’ interests and keep them coming back for more. Leave people hanging and they will diligently follow you for answers. However, it can also lead to disappointment due to high expectations and low delivery. Which is exactly what happened in this case.

BMW released a teaser video showing a car, in first person, tearing through the streets with a nice engine note to go along with it. What it had shown led me, and probably others, to believe a new, hot-blooded sports car was on the way. Being that the only part of the car BMW had shown was the front wheel, I had assumed something front-wheel drive; maybe a 2 Series Active Tourer hot hatch or maybe something based on the new Mini . But what it turned out to be, if you haven’t watched the video, was an i3 being driven by a woman with her son in the back seat playing some sort of racing game on a PS Vita.

While this is kind of a clever commercial, and the i3 is a great car, the video was somewhat disappointing. BMW is primarily a sports car company, a damn good one at that, and the idea of a new sports car from its factory is an exciting one, so to find out it’s just a clever i3 commercial is a real bummer. Unfortunately Bimmer got our hopes up, but at least for a little while I got to dream up some wild car fantasies, and isn’t that what being a car enthusiast is all about?

Click past the jump to see the deceitful teaser video that got us all riled up

BMW is only two short years away from celebrating its 100th year in business, and speculation around how the German automaker will celebrate is starting to grow. One heavily speculated party place is within the BMW i division. A conversation between BMW’s senior spokesman Kai Lichte and Motoring.com.au shed just a little more light on the upcoming situation. Plans for a more powerful version of the i8, the i9 , are rumored to already be in the works. Also on the table is the i5 , an all-new i vehicle loosely described as a stretched i3. Lichte’s answer to Motoring’s query is somewhat vague. “in two years’ time, maybe we will have some surprises for our anniversary,” he says. “There are a lot of discussions and a lot of ideas for this special occasion.”

Since the i9 is based on the current i8 , it’s likely it will see production first. The i9 will basically swap out the i8’s inline three-cylinder for a more potent 3.0-liter, turbocharged, inline six-cylinder, elevating it to near-supercar levels of performance. It would also serve as a modern-day interpretation of the iconic BMW M1 of the late 1970s.

The i5, on the other hand, will likely need more development time. It’s said the i5 will probably hit production in 2017, a year after BMW’s actual birthday. Perhaps the i9 will be BMW’s physical present to itself while the announcement of the i5 will continue the birthday hype into the future.

However at this point, BMW is still trying to figure out how to increase i-branded production at its new plant in Leipzig, Germany. "When we decide on more i models, then we would need more production capacity and … the next two years I think we have (are) limited to the current production line," Lichte concluded.

Note: BMW i8 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i5 and i9.

Source: Motoring
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

BMW is continuing its plan to make the transition to electric vehicles as simple as possible. The i3 is already a huge step in the right direction, as it introduces a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic chassis, aluminum sub frames and a small gasoline range extender all at a relatively low price. The main goal is to get people into electric vehicles by taking as much of the compromise out of the equation as possible. Well, BMW i BMW i s now going one step further with the introduction of the i DC Fast Chargers and the ChargeNow DC Fast Program. BMW developed the i DC Fast Charger with the help of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. The i DC Fast Charger is a small (31-by-19-by-12 inches), 100-pound box that owners can mount to a wall that will charge the battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. The i3’s Fast Charger will set you back to the tune of $6,548, which is cheap in comparison to most DC Fast Chargers. A standard charger will “fill up the tank” in about 6 to 8 hours. With that in mind the Fast Charger seems worth the premium, especially considering it’s a slick-looking, smallish unit that will fit nicely in most garages.

ChargeNow DC Fast is a program BMW has developed with the help of NRG eVgo, and will offer unlimited, no cost, 30-minute charging for i3 drivers in California until December 2015. This will help reduce range anxiety considerably on long trips through The Golden State. To access the ChargeNow DC Fast program, i3 owners must equip the DC Fast charger option, and sign up for a ChargeNow Card. Doing so will give owners access to all eVgo DC Fast chargers across California. Even at a price though, the ChargeNow program will help dramatically in the implementation of electric vehicles as primary cars for households. It still takes a bit longer than stopping at a gas station, but if placed properly, these ChargeNow stations can provide some resting time or even some sightseeing on long trips. This in tandem with the i DC Fast Charger in the home and the i3 becomes a very useful and eco-friendly option.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs.


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