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.

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 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.

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

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