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Driving an electric car may be as green as you can get on the road, but being green at home means investing heavily in alternative energy. In an effort to combat that, BMW and Real Goods Solar are teaming up to make solar panels more cost-efficient to intall at home for ActiveE drivers.
The plug-in hybrid will reportedly weigh in at 3,197 lbs with a 2+2 seating configuration and pop-up door design. Powering the i8 will be a 170-hp electric motor driving the front wheels, while a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder powers the rear wheels with 223-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Despite earlier rumors that a non-hybrid, M-variant of the i8 would be in production, ideas of a V8- or V10-powered i8 has been tossed out the window. That’s no real surprise as BMW really wishes to push the future of its technology with their i-model lineup.
And speaking of that technology, the new i8 can be front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive thanks to a clever black box. Fully charged, the BMW i8 can cover 20 miles in full-electric mode. 0-62 mph is in a mere 4.9 seconds when all 393-hp and 406 lb-ft of torque is in effect. The i8 will feature a four-speed transmission and in the European driving cycle it’s reporting 104.2-mpg.
As with most plug-in hybrids, recharge time depends on which voltage you are able to get. Standard charging time will be around six hours with high voltage allowing it to be done in less than an hour.
The German automaker anticipates the i8 to sell around 10,000 units a year and pricing will be over $130,000 (€100,000).
The production model of the BMW i8 is scheduled to make its official debut in 2014.
GALLERY: BMW i8 Spy Shots
[Source: CAR Magazine]
We’ve seen plenty of the i3 and i8 concepts from BMW, and now reports are coming in that BMW is developing an i5 to fill the gap between the two upcoming models. Autobild is reporting that the i5 will be a midsized MPV and looks to target the Toyota Prius V market, but we’re thinking its price tag will put it in a league of its own.
Essentially, the i5 will be a larger i3 with sliding rear seats, a large cargo area and a high roof. It will also probably be a sedan sporting coupe styling and will feature an electric motor just like the i3 concept. The electric motor that BMW has been teasing in the i3 concept has 167-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. There is also the possibility of another variant with a standard gasoline, three-cylinder engine with around 89-hp.
No pricing has been announced, but it’s safe to assume the BMW i5 will be at least $65,000 or thereabouts.