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Spy photos: BMW i8 hits Swedish test track

Mon, 30 Apr 2012

Spy photographers caught the new BMW i8 testing on a secret track wearing the company’s familiar psychedelic camouflage. The test car pictured is a preproduction model rather than a concept BMW i8, similar to what should appear in 2013.

As reported earlier, we’re expecting BMW’s 2014 i8 hybrid coupe to get a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine--essentially the same unit earmarked to head into the next-generation Mini and the front-wheel-drive BMW 1-series due out in 2014.

With 220 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, the gasoline unit operates in combination with an in-house-developed electric motor rated at 129 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, for an overall output of 349 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.

As with the Vision EfficientDynamics concept, the gasoline engine is mounted in back and drives the rear wheels via a dual-clutch gearbox, while the electric motor is set up front and acts on the front wheels through a twin-speed transmission.

According to the spy shooter:

“The machine you see will be the reigning monarch of the Bavarian automaker’s new subbrand, i, once it debuts.

“Based on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept that starred at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show, the vehicle is said to pack 2+2 seating and a 0-100 km/h time in the 4.8-second range, along with a supercar price tag. Look to fork around 150,000 euros when the BMW i8 touches down.”

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