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BMW i8 Details Surface

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On: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 2:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW i8 Details Surface

BMW has been developing the i8 since it launched it as the Vision EfficientDynamics at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. It showed an updated i8 version at last year's show and plans to have the production version ready for the next Frankfurt show in 2013. In the meantime, it has revealed some of the key specs and details about the production model.

CAR magazine reports that the production i8 will play pretty closely to the concepts. It will be a 2 + 2 design with pop-up doors available exclusively as a plug-in diesel hybrid. It will weigh around 3,200 lbs, thanks to the use of carbon fiber.

On a rather exciting note, that plug-in powertrain will get more powerful in production. The original VED concept had 328-hp worth of 1.5-liter turbodiesel and dual electric motors, and last year's i8 concept had 349-hp of three-cylinder engine and electric motor. In production, the i8 will get a 170-bhp electric motor up front and a 223-bhp turbo engine in back, providing up to 393-bhp and 406 lb.-ft. That engine will work in partnership with a four-speed transmission. Though more powerful, it will be comparable in performance, hitting 62 mph in 4.9 seconds (the concept was quoted at 4.8 seconds) and topping out at 156 mph.

Drivers will have their pick of all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, enabling them to pick exactly the right orientation for the ride of the day. Since the front wheels are powered by the motor, front-wheel drive will also offer emissions free driving for about 20 miles.

The i8 will retail over 100,000 euros ($132,000) when it hits the market in 2014, and BMW expects to sell about 10,000 per year.


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