BMW is updating its plug-in electric hybrid sports car, the i8, with additional standard equipment for the Geneva Motor Show, set to kick off in March. There will be new options for interior styling, and inclusion of the Pure Impulse Experience program, which, according to a press release, comprises “exclusive lifestyle options in the areas of culture, design, travel and gastronomy in keeping with the progressive and sustainable ‘next premium’ approach of the BMW i brand.” 

Basically, that means members get benefits like a membership to Club magazine, invitations to attend special events, tips on finding new eco-resorts, and opportunities to dine in some of the top restaurants. 

The update coincides with additional international services now available to i3 and i8 customers. Dubbed the 360° ELECTRIC program, i owners may now participate in things like ChargeNow, an expanding charging and payment service with fast-charge stations supporting international roaming. Or there’s ParkNow, the web- and app-based service to help drivers find parking spaces in hundreds of cities across North America, filtering through search results by price, distance, and availability of charging services and car washes. There’s also DriveNow, which arranges car-sharing options among 390,000 registered users in the U.S. and Europe. Finally, BMW is taking on a “second-life” project in the U.S., Germany, and China, whereby lithium-ion batteries that have passed their roadworthiness life cycles are recycled as stationary energy-storage devices. 

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

Why it matters

It’s nice to see the i8 get a little love. I really would have liked to see something like a new performance package with an “overboost” button that dumps all the available electric power into the drive wheels, but oh well. 

BMW is clearly trying to keep the fire lit when it comes to interest in the i8, a car that amazed critics last year, (TopSpeed included). With the i3 now rolling along nicely, and lots of predictions being thrown around about BMW’s electric future, the i8 will need to bear the torch for Munich’s EV hopes. Will the i8 seem outdated one day? BMW will certainly do its best to make sure such a scenario does not come to pass.

BMW i8

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
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Taking fourth in theTopSpeed Performance Car of the Year list for 2014, the i8 had everybody floored when it was first unveiled. Taking cues from BMW’s other spacey super car, the M1, the i8 looks like it would be at home flitting between asteroids or searching for a parking spot on the moon. While the iconic BMW kidney grille is obvious in the front, the rest of the car bears a low-and-wide countenance that connotes both performance and futuristic panache.

Made from a good deal of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, the i8 still tips the scales at 3,285 pounds. However, all those pounds are perfectly distributed 50/50 front to back, thanks to an innovative drivetrain.

The i8 packs a TwinPower Turbo, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that delivers 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Ahead of this, you’ll find a plug-in electric motor throwing down 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque at the front wheels. That makes for a combined output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, which means the AWD i8 can sprint to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.

While these performance specs are impressive, the fact that they are available in a car that looks this marvelous, goes 22 miles with zero emissions, and gets 95 MPGe is downright astounding.

Press Release

BMW will take to the stage at the traditional Geneva International Motor Show from 5 – 15 March 2015 with two world premieres: the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer, which offers seating for up to seven people, and the new compact BMW 1 Series. The BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car, meanwhile, demonstrates how engine output can be boosted efficiently using an innovative water injection system – leading to lower fuel consumption and exhaust emissions under full load. And then there are a raft of innovative supplementary services connected with every aspect of the BMW i models, as well as “myKIDIO”, a new in-car entertainment concept for children.

The new BMW 1 Series model range: compact driving pleasure – efficient, innovative, unique.
The BMW 1 Series – almost two million units of which have been sold worldwide to date – cuts an even more striking, sporty and efficient figure in its latest incarnation, complete with its extensively modified front- and rear-end design in both 3‑ and 5-door guise. The new line-up of latest-generation petrol and diesel engines, boasting additional measures designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions (fuel consumption combined: 8.0 – 3.4 litres per 100 kilometres [35.3 – 83.1 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 188 – 89 g/km)*, ensure the new BMW 1 Series can offer customers a fresh, efficient source of power. The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics Edition, powered by a 85 kW/116 hp three-cylinder engine, posts average fuel consumption of 3.4 litres/100 kilometres (83.1 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 89 g/km in the EU test cycle*, making it the efficiency king of the BMW model range.

The new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer:
Unbeatable versatility and space for up to seven people.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer sees BMW once again creating a new vehicle segment. Its signature feature is the impressive amount of space within its compact dimensions. This is the first model in the premium compact class that can accommodate up to seven people across three rows of seats – in addition to a generously sized and variable-use luggage compartment. All of which allows the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer to meet the mobility requirements of young families and offer – thanks to the five newly developed turbocharged engines producing from 85 kW/116 hp to 141 kW/192 hp (fuel consumption combined: 6.4 – 3.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 149 – 104 g/km)* and the BMW EfficientDynamics package – sporting dynamics combined with outstanding efficiency and the lowest CO2 emissions in the segment.

BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car: innovative water injection system boosts power.
The BMW M4 Coupe will once again lead the Safety Car fleet through the 2015 MotoGP season. In so doing, BMW M GmbH’s high-performance coupe will also blaze a trail for technology and innovation thanks to an innovative water injection system designed to give the engine a noticeable boost in performance. This pioneering technology also enables excellent levels of efficiency even under full load with real benefits when it comes to fuel economy and exhaust emissions. The water injection system once again underlines the many years of experience BMW M GmbH can look back on in motor racing and its vast well of expertise in the development of powerful engines. At the same time, the car offers a very clear taster of an M Automobile that promises to set a new benchmark in performance, exclusivity and individuality not too far from now.

Mobility of the future: BMW i rolls out additional services for the BMW i3 and BMW i8 as part of its 360° ELECTRIC programme.
Following the successful launch of the electric-powered BMW i3 and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, BMW i is now extending its range of services focusing on every aspect of electric mobility and rolling them out internationally. With the BMW i3 and BMW i8, BMW i offers customers not only a choice of electric vehicles but also, as part of its 360° ELECTRIC programme, far-reaching complementary products to ensure the cars provide long-term service. ChargeNow, for example, is a charging and payment service which is enjoying steady expansion – thanks to the addition of new fast-charging stations – and which supports international roaming. BMW i drivers who are reliant on a permanent parking space with a charging facility will find a suitable solution in ParkNow LongTerm, while the ParkNow web- and app-based service helps drivers to find a space as and when they need while out and about. ParkNow offers parking spaces in hundreds of cities across North America and can filter the results of searches according to price, distance and the availability of services such as charging stations and car washes. DriveNow offers car-sharing options for more than 390,000 registered customers in the USA and Europe at the latest count, and another international rollout is now in the pipeline. And finally, “second-life” projects in the USA, Germany and China allow lithium-ion batteries from BMW i vehicles to be used as stationary energy storage devices after their service life on the road has come to an end.

The exclusive character of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car will be further highlighted in March 2015 with an extended range of standard equipment and new options for the interior look. Standard specification for the BMW i8 now includes the Pure Impulse Experience programme, comprising exclusive lifestyle options in the areas of culture, design, travel and gastronomy in keeping with the progressive and sustainable “next premium” approach of the BMW i brand.

BMW ConnectedDrive integrates “myKIDIO” app into the car:
clever entertainment programme for rear-seat passengers.
Longer journeys now also promise to be a pleasure rather than a chore for children thanks to the new “myKIDIO” app (initially only available in Germany). The application is available in fully integrated form for the first time in the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer and provides access to content such as TV series, movies, audio books and audio plays on tablet computers (such as the Apple iPad). It can be operated conveniently and safely via the iDrive Controller and Control Display once the mobile device is linked up with the car. Then the “myKIDIO” app allows adult occupants to navigate through age-appropriate programmes, and approve and monitor them on the linked tablet computers. It makes long journeys an entertaining experience for children as well. Adults can see what the kids are tuned into at any one time on the Control Display, while the youngsters in the rear can access information on the journey (such as arrival time, range and outside temperature) at any time in a fun and easy way via the “BMW Kids Cockpit” journey monitor.

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