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.

It’s been a little more than a year since BMW unveiled the production version of the i8 sports car at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the hybrid vehicle is finally ready to meet its U.S. customers. But before you sign that check and hand it over to BMW, make sure you check out the brand-new i8 configurator the Germans fired up. It comes with everything you need to know about trim levels, standard and optional equipment, as well as precise information about how much each extra feature costs. You can have it built just the way you like it before placing that order.

If the i8 is a tad too expensive for you or you just don’t find it useful, it’s a good way to spend some time with Munich’s brand-new, state-of-the-art vehicle. If time is not on your side these days, stick around for the full details on the car’s trims and exterior and interior choices.

Before we proceed any further, we’ll remind you that the i8 comes with only one powertrain that combines a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor. That might not seem like much for a sports car, but rest assured, the combo delivers 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline mill sends 231 ponies and 236 pound-feet to the rear wheels, while the electric power unit delivers 131 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque to the front axle.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i8.

Source: BMW USA

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.

It appears the idea of BMW building a drop-top version of its popular i8 has been completely nixed. The word comes straight from a BMW representative when questioned by the Europe-based website, InAutoNews.

“There are no plans to produce the BMW i8 Spyder,” says the BMW rep.

Such a definitive and short answer is hard to question, but we still do. Perhaps BMW is saving a spyder version for the rumored i9 , the hyped-up version of the i8 rumored to have a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter I-6 pulled from the M4 . With such a potent gasoline powerplant combined with the electric motors from the i8, the i9 could potentially be BMW’s hottest performer.

Still, if BMW does launch the i9, we can expect it to arrive in coupe form first and then followed by a spyder version later. In short, don’t hold your breath.

The BMW representative then spoke on possible iterations of the BMW 7 Series , after future prodding from InAutoNews. Rumors suggest BMW would follow Mercedes’ lead in offering multiple versions of its luxurious 7 Series. The BMW rep again answered, “…there are no plans to produce any derivatives of the 7 Series outside of standard and long-wheelbase.” Kiss a 7 Series coupe and convertible goodbye.

While reports confirm BMW is building a larger flagship SUV slotted above the X5 , dubbed the X7, rumors had suggested the 7 Series would be the base for the X7. Again the BMW rep shot the theory to the ground. “The BMW X7 will be produced in the future, but that is a different proposition and is not based on the 7 Series.” Well then.

Regardless of its platform, the X7 will be a direct competitor to the Mercedes GL-Class and the new Range Rover . Expect the X7 to hit European showrooms by 2017 or 2018.

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

Source: inautonews

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 Formula E Championship kicked off in spectacular style over the weekend, featuring a last-lap crash between the race leaders Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld that gift-wrapped the historic win to Lucas di Grassi. That’s what everybody’s talking about and rightfully so. But the inaugural Formula E race also saw the BMW i8 take center stage as the series’ official safety car.

Isn’t it fitting that a championship among electric-powered race cars would have a low-emission, hybrid sports car like the i8 serving as its safety car?

The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car, as it’s officially known, was joined by its little brother, the BMW i3 , which also performed duties as the series’ official medical car and extraction car. Might as well keep it in the family!

True to form, the i8 Safety Car ended up taking part in a busy and action-packed race, none more dramatic than the hellacious crash in the last lap of the race. While jockeying for the lead, Prost’s Renault made contact with Heidfeld’s Venturi, sending the latter into the barricades in one of the most spectacular crashes we’ve seen this year. Fortunately, both Prost and Venturi escaped the accident in relatively unscathed.

At the very least, it gave us a good preview of how exciting the new FIA Formula E Championship can be. The BMW i8 Safety Car already knows that after only one race manning the track.

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

It has become inevitable that electric-powered cars are the way of the future. We aren’t quite sure how electricity is going to be created to power these cars, but it has been almost universally accepted that batteries and motors are the way forward. Of course, people are lazy and they get concerned about things like charging times, plug variations and charging locations. BMW and Daimler have teamed up to hopefully make charging as easy and painless as possible with new wireless charging technology .

I won’t go too deep into the technology behind it, but think of it as a really large version of the wireless charging technology that some cellphones use. Basically, there is a large conductive coil installed into the bottom of the car that is attached to the batteries. If you park over the top of a second large conductive coil that is attached to a power source, the car batteries will begin charging. BMW has also managed to develop this system to be extremely fast and efficient. They say that this system can fully charge the new BMW i8 in less than two hours with the current prototype system.

Another benefit of this system is the ability to build it into any flat pavement. Entire mall parking lots or even highways could theoretically be wired with conduction coils, so your car would actually be charging as you went shopping or drove to work. If electric cars are the future, this is like warping into the age of the Jetsons.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new Inductive Charging System.

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

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