BMW i8 Makes Production Debut At Frankfurt Motor Show Photo:
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TMR Team | Sep, 12 2013 | 4 Comments


The second model in BMW's new future-styled and green-focused i line has debuted in Frankfurt this week: say hello to the BMW i8.

There's little new to see, though: the sharp new coupe's unveiling follows a run of teaser images and, last week, a pair of revealing teaser images. The carmaker had also revealed most of the tech details already.

Importantly, the i8's unveiling confirms that BMW has not strayed far from the concept's styling, retaining key elements while smoothing out the more ostentatious features.

Just like its concept forebear, the production i8 is driven by a petrol-electric hybrid system, producing a combined 266kW and 570Nm of power.

Broken down, those figures come from a 170kW 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a small 96kW electric motor.

BMW has also highlighted the petrol engine's place in the company's line-up: the turbo 1.5 three-cylinder engine's specific output of 113kW per litre of displacement is the highest of any BMW model.

Distributing power to the axles through a six-speed auto, the petrol engine drives the rear wheels while the electric system motivates the front.

Helping keep the i8's weight down is a carbon-fibre passenger cell and frame, along with a liberal application of aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics.

With a relatively light kerb weight of 1490kg, BMW says the i8's powertrain will propel occupants to 100km/h in "less than" 4.5 seconds.

For the sake of comparison, another all-paw car that lists a time in that neighbourhood - specifically 4.3 seconds - is Porsche's PDK-equipped 911 Carerra 4S.

Feeding the i8's electric motor is a lithium-ion battery pack, allowing an all-electric driving range of around 35km from a 3.5 hour charge at a regular home powerpoint.

With a full charge and a full fuel tank, BMW says the i8 will offer a driving range of around 500 kilometres in Comfort mode, growing by around 20 percent in Eco Pro mode.

Importantly, while the 911 lists fuel use at a respectable 9.1 l/100km, BMW says the i8 will return figures of just 2.5 l/100km.

The i8 should prove a nimble operator, too, with a low centre of gravity and a "near-perfect" axle load ratio of 50:50.



The big question is: when will we see the i8 in Australia? Speaking with TMR in Frankfurt, BMW Australia boss Phil Horton said a handful of evaluation units will be here before the year is out, but showroom timing is still to be confirmed.

Unveiled at 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show: Audi A3 Cabrio | Audi A8 update | Audi Sport Quattro concept | Audi Nanuk Quattro | BMW i8 | BMW X5 eDrive | Citroen Cactus | Ferrari 458 Speciale | Ford S-Max | Formula E race car | Honda Civic Tourer | Honda Civic Type R details | Infiniti Q30 | Jaguar C-X17 | Kia Niro | Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse | Lexus LF-NX | Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Racing | Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe | Mercedes-Benz GLA | Nissan X-Trail | Opel Monza | Peugeot 208 Hybrid FE | Peugeot 308 R | Peugeot 3008 and 5008 updates | Porsche 918 Spyder | Renault Initiale Paris | Skoda Yeti update | Skoda Rapid Spaceback | Suzuki iV-4 | Toyota Yaris Hybrid R | Volkswagen e-Golf | Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan | Volvo Coupe Concept

?All Frankfurt Motor Show news

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