BMW i8 Detailed Prior to Frankfurt Motor Show

BMW i8 Detailed Prior to Frankfurt Motor Show

Now that the BMW i3 has become official, automotive enthusiasts are anxiously waiting to see if the German automaker can live up to its claims for its i8 plug-in hybrid coupe.

The i8, which will make its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, was built from the ground up as a plug-in hybrid sports car, much like the i3 was built as a full electric car from the get go. But it’s a bold statement to say that the i8 is a true Porsche 911 competitor, and BMW has revealed some of its specifications prior to its unveiling.

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Powering the i8 is a small 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine with 231 horsepower that is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Powering the front wheels is an electric motor with 131 horsepower and an integrated two-stage automatic transmission that gives a total system output of 362 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.

It’s not quite super car territory, but the i8 features state-of-the-art lightweight materials that allows it to weigh in at less than 3,285 pounds. According to the German automaker, the i8 will blast to 62 mph from a standstill in under 4.5 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. To put that into perspective, the Tesla Model S takes 4.2 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph.

The i8 will have an all-electric range of 22 miles with a 3.5-hour charge from a conventional 120 volt outlet. A 220-volt Level 2 charger will charge the i8 in 1.5 hours and can have a range of 310 miles in Comfort mode (on a full tank of gas of course) or 20 percent more in Eco mode.

Production styling still remains a mystery.



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