The first hybrid sportscar from BMW, the 2014 i8, is currently undergoing cold weather testing. A prototype was spotted in Sweden and the images reveal an interesting rear-end with large and deep air inlets. Clearly visible is also a large large diffuser different from any other one seen on current BMW production cars.
These design elements are used to channel the air therefore increasing the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
According to BMW, the beautiful glass seen on the doors of the i8 Concept will be replaced by conventional materials, a request that was mainly driven by customers who requested more interior cabin privacy.
The i8 Concept combines the advantages of two different drive systems – an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is not a secondary power source, but rather an equal partner of the internal combustion engine. The major change is a new 1.5 liter petrol engine replacing the initial diesel unit of same capacity. The engine is mounted at the rear and drives via a dual-clutch gearbox.
The weight of 1480kg is the equivalent to a power-to-weight ratio of 236 horsepower per 1000 kilograms.
BMW i8 measures 4632mm in length, 1955mm in width and 1280mm in height, comparable to the 3 Series coupe in dimensions. A 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time comes under five seconds, with a combined fuel consumption in the European test cycle of less than 3 liters/100 km (78 MPG) and average real fuel consumption of between five and seven liters (33 – 47 MPG).
The BMW i8 is expected to debut in early 2014 and the price speculations fall around the $160,000m mark.