BMW i8 First Drive

Release Date: 2014
MSRP: $135,925 US
Battery Pack Size: 7.2 kWh
Electric Range: 22 miles estimated
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AutoExpress UK was lucky enough to have BMW invite them out for some early access to the upcoming BMW i8 electric supercar. The BMW i3 is an all electric vehicle designed for the big city, while the i8 is a serious sports car with a plug-in electric hybrid powertrain. The electric motor provides 129 hp to the front wheels, and the internal combustion engine with its 220 hp powers the rear wheels giving the i8 4 wheel drive.

With a total power output of 349 hp, BMW says the i8 will reach 62 mph in 4.6 seconds.

Built with carbon fiber reinforced plastics to minimize vehicle weight, the BMW i8 weights 1480kg. Claimed combined fuel economy of the i8 is 104.9 MPG, and electric only range is 22 miles.

BMW i8 First Drive Review

From the swing up door, to the TFT screen instrument panel, the BMW i8 is a futuristic vehicle. After sliding the gear selector into “D”, as long as the driver doesn’t accelerate hard, the i8 stays in electric-only mode and the only audible sound is a gentle buzzing noise from the electric motor.

When the accelerator is pressed harder, the gasoline engine kicks in and the i8 accelerates with impressive force. The handling, even on snowy roads, was impressive, due to dynamic stability control, 50/50 weight distribution, and how the power flows to each axle.