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.
SEE ALSO: BMW i8 Spied at the Nurburgring… Again
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.
GALLERY: BMW i8
Discuss this story at BimmerWerkz.com