The BMW i8 has been revealed in leaked pictures, days ahead of its premiere at the Frankfurt motor show
8 February 2012

Images have surfaced online of the BMW i8 sports car in its production specification ahead of its debut at next week's Frankfurt motor show. The pictures show the i8 will feature dihedral doors, similar to those fitted to the McLaren 12C.

A second image reveals the sport car's interior for the first time. An electric speedometer and three-spoke steering wheel give it futuristic credentials, although much of the interior is lifted from the current BMW range.

The styling of the production version of the i8 differs considerably from the two previous concept versions, but it retains the same overall silhouette and the same unusual ‘fins’ in front of the wheels — which help steer the airflow over the wheels to reduce drag.

At the rear, it also retains the separate wheel housings, which stand away from the rear bodywork. Airflow is channelled behind the wheels and under the large tailgate spoilers. The centre tunnel of the i8 is made from aluminium, as are most of the front and rear suspension components. The whole of the body shell - dubbed the ‘Life Module’ by BMW - will be made from carbonfibre, itself manufactured by CO2-free hydropower in Washington State.

Unusual aerodynamic flourishes aside, the i8 not only has the look of a scaled-down Audi R8 but should have supercar performance to match. In its showroom guise, the i8’s rear wheels will be powered by BMW’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which will be good for 215bhp and 220lb ft. The car’s front wheels are driven by a 128bhp electric motor.

With both engines - and both axles - being driven, there’s 348bhp on tap and a substantial 406lb ft amount of torque. Early estimates suggest the i8 will hit 60mph in just 4.6 seconds. In pure-electric, front-drive mode the i8 is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. With a potential range of about 22 miles, it is placed along the centre tunnel of the car.

BMW's 'i' range will initially comprise two cars; arriving earlier than the i8, the i3 city car is battery powered and likely to cost around £35,000. The i8's price will be nearer £100,000.

Our Verdict

BMW i8
The BMW i8 joins the i3 as part of the firm's 'i' range of vehicles

Can BMW's baby hypercar blow the lid off performance convention?

Join the debate

Comments
24

2 July 2013

Can't wait to see if it really delivers what it promises.

Shades of the 928 around the back end - that can't be a bad thing!

2 July 2013

liquidgold wrote:

Can't wait to see if it really delivers what it promises.

Shades of the 928 around the back end - that can't be a bad thing!

Funny I was just about to say the rear looks a little like the old 944!

They have taken an eternity to bring this car out.. it has to be good! although I am already thinking the styling is beginning to look dated.. hope I am wrong as I love the concept. Thsi and the SLS AMG electricdrive..leaves me with some faith that eco friendly cars have a future as proper driving machines  rather than the  dull and boring milk floats such as the Prius..

2 July 2013

There is a lot that looks nice about the car, but it doesn't look as if you will be able to have a dignified or comfortable entry or exit from the car as those doors seem to be in the way when open, with no chance to stand up near the entry point.

2 July 2013

Andy,

Honestly, the only vehicle in which I've been able to manage a dignified entry lately has been into (or up into) a pickup truck (^_^)...

(I have to look the other way when my lady friend tries to plop down into my Z4...)

--------------------

 

2 July 2013

With what the other car makers are churning out, this is a NEW shape,a NEW style,ok, the homage to the M1 has some of the cues for this car, but,apart from the Lego parts bin dash,this is a good car.

Peter Cavellini.

2 July 2013

220bhp from a 1.5L 3-cylinder petrol unit. Now that's pushing the boundaries of motion physics

2 July 2013

I'm surprised that BMW hasn't made swirly panel wrapping an expensive option.  And equally surprised that buyers with more money than taste haven't yet turned to the aftermarket for swirly wrap.

3 July 2013

 €

This is the best car interior I've ever seen.

It's mindblowingly impressive.

It teaches Jaguar a thing or two. 

4 July 2013

hard to judge justr how good it looks whilst it waers that camo.

Logged in as Steroids UK from Facebook.com

3 September 2013

Am I the only person who thinks that the front end of this running prototype will be better than what will probably appear? I like the small flanking of body colour either side of the grill and the truncated headlights that line up with the bonnet shut line. Personally I hate the new 3 series inspired merging of the lights and kidney shape grille, it is a bit too reminiscent of the facelifted Mondeo.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run