2015 BMW i8
Sporty cars mean different things to different carmakers and at BMW it’s more about the future than the past. And, BMW’s i brand is on the forefront with the 2015 i8, a showcase of the future of driving and design.
The showcar look is unlike any other production BMW by combining an advanced aluminum chassis, housing the powertrains, suspension, and most other moving parts, with a passenger compartment made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
Up front is an electric motor with a 2 speed automatic transmission, feeding up to 129 horsepower to the front wheels. Its plug-in 5 kWh battery provides just over 20 miles of pure electric range at a top speed of 75 miles per hour.
Once depleted, or you feel the need for speed, a rear-mounted, turbocharged three cylinder, the same as in the new Mini Cooper, can feed 228 horsepower to the rear wheels through its own 6 speed automatic tranny. Even when driving on gas-power alone, regenerative braking captures energy for the battery pack. It truly is business up front, and a party in the back.
GREG CARLOSS: The life module is, extremely light, and built on carbon fiber…so actually really strong. And that protects the driver…it’s not going to over-perform a lot of other sports cars, but it’s a hybrid…sports car that gets up to 95 miles per gallon and you can drive up to 22, 23 miles on electric only. So it’s really impressive in that aspect.
JOHN DAVIS: Now, you weren’t expecting the combo of sport car performance, hybrid car fuel economy, and super car styling to be cheap, were you?! And indeed, the $136,000 sticker price puts the 2015 i8 out of reach for most of us. But if you have the means, they go on sale here late this summer.
Horsepower: 129/ 228