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BMW i8 production car revealed – costs £99,845: Frankfurt 2013

Tue, 10 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700

The new BMW i8 Hybrid (pictured) will cost £100k in the UK

The BMW i8 jas finally arrived in production guise at the Frankfurt Motor show, neatly creating the top end of BMW’s new i-brand range after the BMW i3 underlined the starting point. Looking really quite appealing, the i8 uses the same carbon fibre reinforced plastic bodyshell and aluminium chassis construction as the i3, but whereas the i3 is built to be a city car, the i8 is the closest we’re likely to get to a 21st century version of the BMW M1.

Similar in size to the Audi R8, the BMW i8 is a 2+2 with a 3-cylinder 1.5 litre engine and generator sitting at the back and driving the rear wheels and an electric motor at the front driving the front wheels, with a petrol tank at the back and the batteries for the electric motor stored in the centre tunnel.

The small, 1.5 litre 3-cylinder engine develops a remarkable 228bhp on its own and when run with the electric motor there’s 356bhp and 420lb/ft of torque on offer. That may not sound much for a supercar, but the i8 is quite light – 1490kg – and has a low drag coefficient (0.26).

That means the i8 can scoot to 62mph in 4.4 seconds and on to a limited 155mph, yet manages an official economy rating of a measly 113mpg and emissions of 59g/km. Not that you’ll ever get close to that unless you pussyfoot around everywhere.

You’ll have a choice of driving modes in the i8 with COMFORT, ECO PRO, SPORT and eDrive for pure-electric driving all on offer.

The exterior of the production version of the i8 has managed to stay quite faithful to the original i8 concept, although the see-through doors have gone, but the interior is more an evolution of current BMW interiors rather than a radical departure.

The BMW i8 launches in the UK in July 2014 and BMW are taking orders from this month. The BMW i8 will cost £99,845.

By Cars UK