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The German automaker will focus next year on starting production for its i-Series according to a statement by Dr. BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer.
And Why They're Wrong
With an almost never ending list of myths and rumors, few vehicles are as misunderstood as the hybrid.
Almost every review or video posted on AutoGuide.com about a hybrid car has at least one reader comment about how the battery will deteriorate beyond repair, or that once you get a hybrid, you’re not a true driving enthusiast.
With so much misinformation about hybrid vehicles being spread around, we’ve decided to debunk six myths about gas-electric cars.
With sky-high gas prices on the horizon and increasingly strict emissions standards for car manufacturers to live up to, consumers are constantly looking for more options when it comes to fuel economy, and automakers are equally eager to deliver. For those reasons manufacturers are continuing to downsize engines. It was a tough sell for car buyers to accept four-cylinder engines instead of six-cylinders, but will they have an easier time accepting three-cylinder engines?
10. Cadillac ELR
Sports cars have often set the bar in new automotive technology and trends. Things like dual-clutch transmissions and forced induction engines were practically engineered for the sole purpose of taking a sports car to the absolute edge of excitement and danger.
At this year’s LEGO Kids Fest in Munich, the BMW Group teamed up with LEGO to build a life-sized replica of the BMW i8 Concept vehicle. The upcoming hybrid sports car will undoubtedly be one of BMW’s hottest featuring a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, giving it the capability of pushing out 400 hp with both systems working.
When it was initially unveiled, the BMW i8 made a splash. Its striking design and interesting drivetrain piqued interest, but after a detail drought people seem to have forgotten about the Bimmer concept in favor of more tangible fodder.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to believe that people won’t be instantly as hungry the second more information emerges. Most recently, former senior designer at BMW Design Works, Sonny Lim, tried his hand at rendering what the finished product might look like.
For those not in the know, the i8 is BMW’s most advanced car yet. It features a 170-hp electric motor which powers the front wheels. Powering the rear wheels is a 1.5 liter, three cylinder engine which produces 223 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.
With numbers like that, the i8 manages a 0-60 time in about 4.9 seconds, thanks to the cars relatively light weight. It’s also very quiet, something you can witness for yourself in the video.
With the car’s fuel-economic credentials, the i8 has an all electric range of 20 miles, before the three-cylinder range extender kicks in, which will apparently achieve something close to 78.5 mpg.
Check out the concept in action in the video below.
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]
The BMW i8 is a highly anticipated release and this new set of spy photos shows off the door design we can expect on the German automaker’s hybrid sports car once it makes it to production.
Hinge placement seems to be the key difference between the i8′s doors and similar examples we’ve seen before. It looks as though the doors open upwards and twist, to make sure they are fully out of the way entering and exiting the vehicle.
The i8 will be powered by a 170 hp electric motor sourced from the entry-level i3, mated to a 3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine producing 223 hp.
The i8 is supposed to be available come 2013. After seeing the doors already fully functioning, it seems likely that this hybrid sports car will be here soon. We’ll be sure to bring you details as they emerge.