When BMW took to the drawing board to start designing the new i8 hybrid, the car came close to ending up with a not so eco-friendly V10 engine.
Though a V10-powered i8 was merely an idea, BMW engineers actually built prototypes of the car that featured both V8 and V6 powerplants, but they eventually settled on deriving much of the car’s power from a hybrid setup. That decision was made mainly due to the excess weight of the large motors along with heat management problems. Fuel economy was also a large factor in the decision, as the hybrid system is both powerful and economical.
The production version of the i8 is now available with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 231 hp, with power directed to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Driving the front wheels is a 131-hp electric motor that uses a two-stage automatic transmission for a combined total output of 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Weighing in at just under 3,300 lbs, the i8 will make the spring from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds according to BMW.
While the output numbers of the production i8 are quite impressive, it is hard not to wonder what this car would have been capable of with a naturally-aspirated V8 living under the hood.
GALLERY: 2014 BMW i8 Live from Frankfurt
[Source: De Telegraf]
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