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BMW i8 prototype gives us clearest view yet of its form

Posted Dec 11th 2012 5:40PM


The BMW i8 is still dashing through the snow on its way to a 2013 debut, and getting more revealing as it does so. The outline of the kidney grille has opened up a bit, and the outline of a Hoffmeister kink has been placed at the rear of the side windows. The door handles appear to have moved off the doors themselves to a spot behind the door shutline. It's too early to tell definitively, but the new door handle location and the lack of the once-plain gap at the A-pillar lead us to believe that the butterfly openings are gone for good.

The plug-in hybrid i8 is expected to pair a 1.5-litre three-cylinder driving the rear wheels with an electric motor driving the front, the combined output predicted at 393 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Assuming its weight really does come in at 1,417 kilograms (3,125 pounds), it will have a 32 kilometre (20-mile) all-electric range, a top speed of 251 km/h (156 miles per hour), and get from zero to 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in only 4.9 seconds.

Check it out in the high-res gallery of spy shots above.
Related GalleryBMW i8 spy shots Photos

BMW Drive Now Project in San Francisco

Image Credit: CarPix

Category: BMW, Coupe, Spy Photos, Design/Style, Performance

Tags: bmw, bmw i8, i8, spy photos, spy shots


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I really don't understand these hybrids with the super-short EV range. What good is 32km to anyone? That wont get me all the way to work, let alone home. And once the battery is depleted, you are left running with a 1.5L motor. Even if they put a turbo on that, you will have relatively anaemic performance until there is a suitable charge to be able to get the acceleration that you will probably pay $100K for.

Why not just buy a Tesla Model-S, and enjoy 500km EV range, with similar performance numbers?

December 12 2012 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to OneMatt's comment

I missed this at first, but there are two 1.5L motors in the rear (allegedly). Likely the EV range will work for some and not others. Personally my commute is 30km of highway driving so the 32km is probably not going to be the same at 100kph+.

If I could get 30km of highway driving in pure EV mode (Ford C-Max Energi for instance) I would definitely consider it.

December 12 2012 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply