BMW has launched its latest offering the BMW i8, a hybrid sports car in India at price tag of INR 2.29 crore. This is the first car under the new “i” brand by BMW in India. The “i” brand has two products worldwide the i8 and the i3. The BMW i8 was first showcased at the 2014 auto expo in India. The 2015 BMW i8 will be offered as a CBU (completely build unit).
The i8 is a mid-engined vehicle powered by a 1.5-litre TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder engine, an electric motor at front and rear axles and a lithium-ion battery pack. The petrol engine is capable of churning out 231 HP and 320 NM of torque, on the other hand the electric motor is capable of 131 HP and 250 Nm of torque, enabling the hybrid vehicle to achieve a combined power 370 PS and 0 to 100 figures of just 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 250 KM/hour.
The mid-engined BMW i8 hybrid sports car is powered by the petrol engine at the rear and the front wheels are powered by the electric motor. BMW has achieved a low kerb weight by extensive use of carbon fibre. The passenger cell is made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic making it lightweight without losing on rigidity. Overall the vehicle weighs only 1485 kg. The lithium ion battery is placed in the lower part, which in turn has helped it to achieve a lower center of gravity.
To recharge its batteries, the car can be plugged-in to an electric socket or self-generate current using an electric generator placed close to the petrol engine. BMW i8 is capable of 37 km in pure electric mode.
In terms of styling BMW i8 has given the Italian competitors a lot to envy by providing butterfly doors (BMW calls them scissor doors, they swing upwards when opened) similar to a a Ferrari or Lambo. The front is adorned by the signature kidney bean grille, LED Daytime Running Light in a distinctive U-shape and the LED rear lights. Black design element runs from the front, over the roof, to the rear. A v shaped black strip runs on the bonnet and is carried over to the rear. The headlights are highly advanced LED units with laser technology.
The sporty look is carried over to the interiors of BMW i8. The center console is driver oriented making the features easy for the driver to use without distraction. The instrument panel has two large displays. The seats are slim and lightweight. The conventional idrive controller is perfectly placed on the center console. the driver has an option to create their own mood lighting with the special ambient lighting system.
The BMW i8 is in huge demand around the globe, and only a limited number of units will be available in India. the i8 is priced at INR 2.29 crore (ex -showroom, India). The i8 competes internationally with Audi R8, Porsche 911, Jaguar F-type.