Series production of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid (earlier post) begins in April, with delivery of the first customer cars to start in June 2014, beginning with the main European markets. Customers have already been able to place pre-orders for the BMW i8 in all major markets since autumn 2013; BMW says that demand for the BMW i8 is already exceeding the planned production volume during ramp-up.
In the run-up to production and delivery, in parallel to the completion of the statutory type approval, BMW engineers were able further to improve key driving performance and fuel consumption data. With the BMW eDrive in plug-in hybrid configuration, the i8 combines a 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 4.4 seconds with an EU test cycle average fuel consumption of 2.1 liter/100 km (112 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 49 g/km. The related electricity consumption was measured at 11.9 kWh per 100 km. BMW had originally anticipated combined test-cycle fuel consumption of 2.5 l/100km (94 mpg US).
|BMW i8. Click to enlarge.|
The results achieved in the EU test cycle allow for quick comparisons with other vehicles and also for favorable taxation in many countries; however, BMW is also providing some real world fuel consumption estimates based on driving in everyday traffic.
In typical everyday commuting with the battery fully charged at the beginning, BMW says its i8 can return a fuel consumption below 5 liters/100 km (47 mpg US) around town.
If the commute includes extra-urban or highway driving, fuel consumption of less than 7 liters/100 km (33.6 mpg US) is achievable.
In longer-distance operation at higher speeds, drivers can keep their average fuel consumption below 8 liters/100 km 29.4 mpg US). Overall, the fuel consumption of the plug-in hybrid model therefore works out around 50%better than that of conventionally powered sports car models.
The introduction of the optional BMW laser headlights is scheduled for autumn 2014, when the BMW i8 will become the world’s first production car to offer this innovative lighting technology. BMW laser headlights are around 30% more energy-efficient than the BMW i8’s standard LED headlights and provide considerably more powerful road illumination, with a range of up to 600 meters.
Highly concentrated beams of light from high-performance laser diodes act on a fluorescent phosphor material inside the headlight, which projects a sharply focused beam of light onto the road. The laser headlights produce a light similar to natural daylight and are therefore always easy on the eye.
BMW eDrive. The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid system comprises a 170 kW/231 hp, 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a 96 kW/131 hp, 250 nm (184 lb-ft) hybrid synchronous electric motor.
The BMW eDrive system also includes a lithium-ion high-voltage battery (with a usable capacity of 5.2 kWh) and intelligent energy management that uses the combined output of 266 kW/362 hp to provide performance and maximum efficiency, while always taking into account the driving situation and driver requirements. The balance between driving pleasure and fuel economy is aided by a low vehicle weight of 1,485 kg (3,274 lbs) (DIN curb weight) and a good drag coefficient (Cd) for a sports car of 0.26.
In zero-emission all-electric mode, the BMW i8 has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) and a range of 37 kilometers (23 miles) within the EU test cycle. Depending on whether the plug-in hybrid sports car’s lithium-ion battery is recharged at a household power socket or BMW i Wallbox, or at a public charging station, charging times range from less than two up to three hours. In Sport mode the BMW i8 offers mid-range acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph) in 2.6 seconds. The electronically governed top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph).