BMW i8

BMW i8

  The BMW i8 is BMW's first venture into the hybrid supercar realm. We are uncertain on its exact specifications and when it will be released, but we do believe that it will debut withing the next year.

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.

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

The news surrounding the BMW i8 is relentless these days with information flowing in left and right. But sadly, the latest bit of news doesn’t hold much promise for those looking forward to a sportier version of the i8 or a replacement for the M1 coming from the i8 platform.

Our German friends over at Autovisie sat down with Carsten Pries, BMW’s head of Product Management M, for a recent interview. His issue lies with creating competition for its own i8 by flooding the already-small segment with low sales volumes. Not to mention the need to develop more powerful hybrid technology and a larger engine sized properly for an i8-like car. What’s more, the i8 was developed from the ground up to be an electric hybrid with only a small gasoline engine.

The lack of an outright M model based on the i8 doesn’t completely spell disaster. Friedrich Nitschke, the CEO of BMW M, says the fuel-saving technology from the i8 might wind up in future M models while the sportier aspects of the M Division might find its way onto future i models.

While these words came from BMW corporate heads, Pries and Nitschke may be bluffing about the existence of a high-performance hybrid supercar. Only time will tell, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking information.

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

Source: telegraaf.nl

If you’re a BMW owner who is truly trying to reduce their impact on the world around them, the new i3 and i8 make great choices. These green cars promise BMW dynamics with a much friendlier CO2 output and impressive fuel economy.

Of course, what happens when your neighbor also buys a new BMW i8, and you are no longer the coolest eco-kid on the street? You snag one of these new solar carports from the minds at BMW DesignworksUSA.

Like everything that comes from the minds at DesignworksUSA, the carport is stunning to look at and features a unique styling aesthetic that is open, industrial and modern. In keeping with the theme of reducing the owner’s impact on the world around them, much of the structure is made from bamboo. As a quickly growing and dense wood, bamboo makes a great renewable building resource.

Did I mention that it looks awesome? Like a solar-powered cyber spider awesome?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 and the Solar Carport Concept.

Another Thursday afternoon means another TopSpeed.com Podcast . You can click play here for audio, or look after the jump for a FULL video podcast.

This week sees the return of Justin after his vacation, lots of cars with manual transmissions and a few automotive farewells.

Our weekly wheels for this week include the Honda Accord Touring from Justin and the Chevrolet Silverado High Country from Mark. I am a sad boy this week and have no new cars to talk about. Cue the sad trombone.

To make myself feel better, we cover a whole host of bad-ass car news. We start with the announcement of a manual transmission for the F-Type . We move to more fun cars with the Cayman GT4 spy shots , and the final edition of the Cadillac CTS-V . Cadillac gets some more love with the ELR-V and we finish with the BMW i8, the future of the M1 and round things out with a special edition Audi R8 .

We wrap up the show with a trio of questions from you, our wonderful listeners, and an Own, Drive, Burn made entirely of Corvettes.

We had one final viewer question, but it was a long one, so we decided to tackle it as a special "after-show bonus" so feel free to stick around after the closing music to catch that. We discuss what you should buy if you are sitting on $30k and want a performance car.

As always, you can catch us on iTunes ( we would love it if you rated and gave us a review), drop us an email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com, find us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast or just hit up the comments. We read and respond to basically everything, so if you have feedback, let us know.

Click "play" to hear this week’s Podcast

See you next week-

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Honda Accord, Chevy Silverado

If you just heard a collective groan between your ears, chances are you’re part of the collective masses that just heard about BMW’s plan to offer less than 500 i8 sports cars in North America. We already knew from the start that BMW had no plans of mass-producing the i8, but just 500 earmarked for North America?

But no matter how disappointing that is, it probably won’t dissuade BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch from adding more models in the NA inventory in the near future. That could change if the hybrid supercar sells like hot pancakes, but for now, it’s only sending 500 to North America.

So what’s the rationale behind it? Willisch didn’t elaborate on that so we’re assuming that BMW wants to test the North
American market first on how it receives the i8 when it arrives. It might be ridiculous to imagine why a car so lauded as the i8 needs to "test a market" but remember, BMW is essentially venturing into uncharted territory with this model, developing it as a hybrid that promises the best in performance and efficiency.

On top of that, the i8 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Starting price is at $136,625, including shipping, so it’s not like people will just line up to buy the car when sales begin in August 2014.

Or maybe they will, which explains why it’s weird for BMW to limit the allotment of i8s to just 500 in North America.

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

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.

2015 BMW i8 pictured above
We already know that BMW has trademarked an entire range of nomenclatures for its "i " range, but up until now, the only models that we know of that will carry the names are the i3 , the i8 , and the rumored i5 . Now, it appears that another model will be added to the i range and according to Auto Motor und Sport, and other sources. Word has it the new car is a four-door futuristic sports car that will be called the "i9."

This is interesting because it follows in BMW’s plan to create an entirely new segment of vehicles that will address the company’s commitment to future mobility and sustainability. The i3 and the i8 got the ball rolling on that end, presenting customers with two different models that share the same principles of combining BMW’s renowned engineering prowess with a fresh approach towards functionality and efficiency.The rumored i5 midsized MPV is also expected to follow in that blueprint, all while bridging the gap between the i3 and the i8.

All this eventually leads us to the i9, a model that a lot of people know little about but has instantly become a hot subject just by word of its impending arrival. Given its name and BMW’s standard way of badging vehicles, we can assume that the i9 is going to be slotted above the i8, if you can even imagine that given how ridiculously awesome the i8 already is.

Our best guess about the i9 is that it’s going to be a more exclusive version of the i8, one that will come with a similar carbon fiber body and all of the car’s latest technological features. More importantly, we see the i9 as something of an evolution of sorts from the i8, especially when it comes to improvements BMW will make on its hybrid technology to increase performance and efficiency at the same time.

All this is, of course, is speculation on our part. What we do know is that the i9 is going to be sick, kind of the way BMW blew us away with the introduction of the i8.

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

Source: BMW Blog

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.

BMW just announced that delivery of its all-new i8 hybrid sports car will begin this June after the car goes into full-scale production starting in April 2014. Sadly for us in the United States, our European friends will be getting their i8s first.

BMW seems to have struck a chord with consumers as orders for the i8 have been poring in since BMW opened the books in the fall of 2013. It says the car has already exceeded the planned volume. To help satisfy the interested, BMW i BMW i s holding demonstration in strategic regions of Europe with pre-production i8s and what the automaker calls "BMW i agents." These informants and their demonstrator vehicles will help inform and educate folks about the i8’s uniqueness.

There’s no word if BMW plans on holding these demonstrations Stateside, though our suspicion is it will and on a smaller scale. The U.S. is only slotted a couple hundred i8s for 2014 with numbers only growing in to the low thousands for 2015. Pricing for the UK begins at €126,000 while Germany will pay £ 99,125. Pricing for the U.S. will start at $135,700.

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

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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