It has been a long journey for the BMW i8 from its initial debut as a concept car in 2009 to the production-ready hybrid supercar that will look to tackle offerings from the likes of Porsche and Ferrari next year. The Frankfurt Motor Show was again the stage selected to present the latest version of the BMW i8, which will be launched in the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2014. BMW spared nothing in terms of performance or equipment for the groundbreaking plug-in hybrid, resulting in a sticker price of $135,700 plus destination and handling fees.
While BMW has other hybrid vehicles on the market, including the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 5, the BMW i8 will be the luxury automaker's first to be designed from the ground up to optimize gas-electric performance. With a total system output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the BMW i8 sports a rear-mounted twin-turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 231 horsepower and an advanced electric motor that adds an extra 131 horsepower. When that impressive power combines with the use of lightweight materials like Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Plastic and aluminum, BMW's hybrid supercar can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds.
"The BMW i8 will compete with similarly powered supercars on the market, but with the advantage of reduced emissions and unbeatable fuel efficiency in the segment," said Avery Trumbo, General Manager of BMW Gallery of Norwell, a MA BMW dealer. "You simply can't find another sports car with such amazing performance that is also predicted to return 94 mpg."
Charging times and all-electric capability are important factors when considering a plug-in hybrid, and the BMW i8 delivers on both fronts. The high-voltage, lithium-ion battery pack can be charged to 80 percent capacity in just 2.5 hours from a standard socket or in about two hours using the BMW i Wallbox at home. A regenerative-braking system is also integrated to ensure that the battery is never depleted. Five driving modes range from a 22-mile electric-only setting to the SPORT mode, which extracts every ounce of power out of the drivetrain for a performance boost.
The i8's most striking feature at first sight is its forward-looking BMW i design language, which the vehicle shares with its all-electric BMW i3 city car sibling. Both the interior and exterior of the BMW i8 have a distinct futuristic look, accentuated by the upward-opening doors. Advanced features can be activated at the touch of a button and high-quality sustainable materials are fitted throughout the luxurious cabin. The BMW iDrive infotainment system is standard, and there is an extensive range of available BMW ConnectedDrive features, including a rearview camera, Surround View and Collision Warning with pedestrian recognition and braking.
"BMW's project i is producing some of the most exciting electrified vehicles on the market, proving that eye-popping performance can coexist with the environment," added Trumbo. "With a city car and a sports car already on the way, we can't wait to see what the next BMW i model will bring to the table to help shape the future of EVs."
About BMW Gallery of Norwell:
BMW Gallery of Norwell has been serving Greater Boston BMW drivers for years, offering the highest-quality new and used BMW sales, service and parts. Known for its low-pressure dealership atmosphere and thoughtful customer amenities, BMW Gallery of Norwell has become a favorite stop for Massachusetts BMW buyers in the South Shore and beyond, whether they are looking for a new BMW 3 Series sedan or a pre-owned BMW X5 luxury SUV. Visit their showroom at 98 Accord Park Drive in Norwell, Mass., call them at 888-860-4882 or find them online at www.bmwgallerynorwell.com. They can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BMWGalleryOfNorwell.
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