The BMW i8 was finally fully unveiled in production form this morning at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It joins the BMW i3 as the second model in the BMW i sub-brand.
Similar to the i3, the i8 uses ‘LifeDrive’ architecture which means it has a carbon-fiber body shell on top of an aluminum platform that holds the battery, electric motor, and other drive components. With a 1.5 liter turbocharged gasoline engine powering the rear wheels and an electric motor driving the front wheels, the BMW i8 can do 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
Total weight of the vehicle is only 3,285 pounds, due to the lightweight carbon fiber and a relatively small 5 kWh lithium ion battery pack.
BMW says the electric range is around 22 miles under the NEDC test, and top speed is 75 mph in electric mode. Combined gasoline and electric range is slightly over 300 miles.
BMW also announced pricing for the US BMW i8 – the manufacturers suggested retail price is $135,925 including the destination and handling charges. You can expect to see the i8 in showrooms sometime in the Spring of 2014.