From 1978 to 1981, BMW sold a supercar known as the M1. It was the only mid engine offering produced by Bavarian Motor Works.
Some 3 decades later they have taken a giant step forward in the supercar marketplace with the introduction of the 2015 BMW i8.
|Vehicle Type: Hybrid Coupe||Base Price: $135,700|
|EV Mode Range: 22 miles||MPGe for EV Mode: 310 miles avg|
|Fuel Tank Capacity: NA||MPG for Hybrid Mode: NA avg|
|Length: 184.6 in. (468.9 cm)||Wheel Base: 110.2 in. (280 cm)|
|Height: 51.1 in. (129.8 cm)||Width: 80.3 in. (203.9 cm)|
|Luggage Capacity: NA||Maximum Seating: 2+2 people|
|Engine: 3 Cylinder DOHC||Displacement: 1500 cc|
|Horsepower: 231 HP||Max RPM: 5800 RPM|
|Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm||Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic|
|Motor Output: 131 HP (96 kW)||Motor Torque: 184 lb ft|
Engine & Performance
The 2015 i8 drivetrain consists of a 1.5 liter, inline 3 cylinder engine. This engine delivers 231 horsepower to the rear wheels. An electric motor provides an additional 131 horses to the front wheels, making up the total power output to 362 horsepower.
It will be mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission to the gas engine and an additional 2 stage transmission on the electric motor.
The BMW i8 chassis will be made of aluminum. The body will be made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. This combination produces a vehicle weighing just 3,285 pounds.
BMW's world renowned kidney shaped grille will be present on its front faÃ§ade, along with 2 large air intakes on either side of the front bumper. The profile view finds the absence of gull wing doors replaced with standard ones and the rear gets a quad exhaust system.
Inside, the BMW i8 is a standard 2+2, four seat layout. The seats themselves are made of exceptionally fine leather treated with an olive extract. The bespoke sports steering wheel is highlighted by several multi functional buttons. The "iDrive" operating system is also offered.
As of now, only one production model exists, but keep your eyes open for an "M" or "M Sports" model in the near future.
The 2015 i8 should be available in the spring of 2014. The anticipated starting price for this car will be in the $136,000 range.