BMW i

BMW i

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.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The new BMW i8 is the brand’s most innovative and technologically advanced model yet. This plug-in hybrid combines efficiency with sports car performance, futuristic looks, and plenty of BMW luxury. Perhaps the first thing to catch consumers’ minds is the raw technology behind this design. This plug-in hybrid setup combines a 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder, gas engine with two electric motors for motivation. In July 2014, BMW announced that it will auction off a special Concours d’Elegance Edition i8 to build upon the excitement about the model.

Things get a little tricky when adding the i8’s powertrain together. A six-speed automatic transmission drives the rear wheels, while an electric motor powers the front wheels through a two-speed automatic. An additional, smaller electric motor provides additional power to the rear wheels but mostly acts as a generator to top off the battery.

Confused yet? The bottom line is that this all works in harmony to create 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims a 0-to-60 time of only 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. A BMW-like 50/50 weight distribution ensures amazing balance and handling.

While all of this is enough to get excited about, BMW wants to take luxury and customization a step further with a special Concours d’Elegance Edition to be introduced and auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Auto Show in August 2014.

Updated 08/18/2014: The i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition sold at auction for a whopping $825,000.

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

Note: Current BMW i8 pictured here.

There’s been a lot of talk about BMW’s plan to expand the i range beyond the current i3 hatchback and i8 sports car. A larger i5 to slot above the i3 , for instance, has been in the rumor mill since last year. More recently though, certain reports are talking about an i9, essentially a plug-in hybrid supercar , placed atop the brand-new i8. The new vehicle will arrive in 2016, German outlet Auto Motor and Sport reports, just in time to celebrate BMW’s 100th anniversary.

Reportedly developed as a spiritual successor to the iconic M1 built between 1978 and 1981, the i9 will be a beefed-up version of the i8 with a more aggressive design and a more potent hybrid drivetrain. Naturally, the i9 will benefit from the same 50:50 weight distribution as the i8, while extensive use of carbon-fiber and aluminum will help keep weight in the 3,300-pound area in spite of its larger gasoline engine and electric motor.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW i9.

This is it, BMW . Years of research, testing, and development has culminated in the upcoming release of the new BMW i8 . With the arrival of BMW’s first plug-in hybrid supercar drawing closer and closer, the German automaker has launched a global campaign to showcase the history of the i8, from its genesis as a concept vehicle all the way to its arrival in dealerships in August 2014. The campaign began on May 9th and will run the gamut of media platforms, ranging from TV spots and print ads, all of which tell the story of a car that has, in so many ways, become synonymous with BMW technology.

The unquestioned star of this campaign is the i8, putting the focus on the hybrid supercar ’s design, performance, and innovation. If anything, BMW is pulling out all the stops with this media blitz, enlisting Gus Van Sant, the man behind Oscar-winning films such as “Good Will Hunting," “Milk” and “My Private Idaho," to direct the three TV spots, namely "Genesis," "Powerful Idea," and "Attitude".

Complementing the TV spots will be a series of seven print ads that highlight the i8’s attributes as a real car for the ages. Like Van Sant’s work on the TV spots, these print ads carry the cache of being photographed by renowned photographer Uwe Düttmann.

If there was any question as to how important the BMW i8 is to the Bavarian automaker, the fact that the company is going to this length to promote the hybrid supercar tells you that the i8 could very well be one of those iconic cars that defines this BMW generation.

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

The BMW i8 , by all accounts, is a pretty incredible ride. It looks sexy as hell; it’s got an advanced powertrain; and the technology used on the hybrid sports car is arguably second-to-none. All that being said, even the i8 is entitled to a bad day or two, and as this video painfully shows, one of those bad days reared its ugly head during a recent testing session at the Nurburgring.

At the start, the i8 looks to have been running smoothly, effortlessly stretching its legs while weaving around one of the world’s most famous race tracks. But during one run down a straight, the i8 slows down and drives into a patch of grass on the side.

We don’t know exactly what happened to the i8, but it doesn’t look like it was part of the testing script. Maybe it lost power, or there were some mechanical glitches in that weave of wiring inside the car. But something happened to the i8 because cars like this one don’t slow down on the side of the road for anything.

Any car that gets the kind of attention that the BMW i8 has received is going to be on the radar of a lot of aftermarket companies. It’s not so much a question on if a tuner will build a program for it as it is when somebody will be the first to do it.

Well, it looks like Lumma Design already has the leg up over the competition.

The German tuning firm is jumping in on the i8 phenomenon with a preview of what it plans to do with BMW ’s all-new electric sports car .

Nothing is final as of yet, but the preliminary announcement from Lumma has the i8 receiving a host of high-tech carbon components, including a new front spoiler, new side skirts and a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser tacked on to it.

In addition, the aptly named CLR I8 program also gets a fancy set of new wheels and the most distinguishable modification of them all, tailor-made stickers — yes, stickers — that change the blue accents on the standard i8 into a shade of green that, quite frankly, looks a lot better than the standard blue hue. And if anything, it goes with the eco-friendliness of the electric hybrid. Just sayin’...

No performance upgrades have been announced, but rest assured we’re going to expect significantly more than the 362-horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque output of the standard i8.


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