The BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid sports car developed by BMW. The i8 is part of BMW’s electrified fleet and is marketed under the BMW i sub-brand. The production version of the BMW i8 was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and was released in Germany in June 2014. Deliveries to retail customers in the U.S. began in August 2014. A roadster variant was launched in May 2018. Production ended in June 2020.
The 2015 BMW i8 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The 2015 model year i8 has a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that delivers an all-electric range of 37 km (23 mi) under the New European Driving Cycle. Under the U.S. EPA cycle, the range in EV mode is 24 km (15 mi). The battery capacity of both, BMW i8 Roadster and the i8 Coupé, was increased to 11.6 kWh in 2018, allowing the NEDC electric range to rise to 55 km (34 mi) for the coupé and 53 km (33 mi) for the roadster.
The BMW i8 coupé has a fuel efficiency of 2.1 L/100 km (134.5 mpg‑imp; 112.0 mpg‑US) under the NEDC test with carbon emissions of 49 g/km. The EPA rated the i8 combined fuel economy at 76 MPGe (3.1 L gasoline equivalent/100 km; 91 mpg-imp gasoline equivalent) and 29 miles per gallon (6.7L/100 km) when running in pure gasoline mode.
By March 2020, global sales of all variants reached more than 20,000 units, making the BMW i8 the world’s top selling plug-in electric sports car, and exceeding sales of all competitors in its segment combined.
History BMW i8
First introduced as the Concept Vision EfficientDynamics, the i8 is part of BMW’s “Project i” and it is being marketed as a new brand, BMW i, sold separately from BMW or Mini. The BMW i3, launched for retail customers in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2013, was the first model of the i brand available in the market, and it was followed by the i8, released in Germany in June 2014 as a 2015 model year. Other i models are expected to follow.
The initial turbodiesel concept car was unveiled at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany, In 2010, BMW announced the mass production of the Vision EfficientDynamics concept in Leipzig beginning in 2013 as the BMW i8. The BMW i8 gasoline-powered concept car destined for production was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The production version of the BMW i8 was unveiled at the 2013 International Motor Show Germany. The following are the concept and pre-production models developed by BMW that preceded the production version. When BMW i sponsored the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, they announced that they would provide support vehicles, and the i8 currently operates as the official safety car.
Design and Technology
The BMW i8 Concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicle includes an electric motor located in the front axle powering the front wheels rated 96 kW (131 PS; 129 hp) and 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft), a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine driving rear wheels rated 164 kW (223 PS; 220 hp) and 300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft) of torque, with combined output of 260 kW (354 PS; 349 hp) and 550 N⋅m (406 lb⋅ft), a 7.2 kWh (26 MJ) lithium-ion battery pack that allows an all-electric range of 35 km (22 mi). All four wheels provide regenerative braking. The location of the battery pack in the energy tunnel gives the vehicle a low centre of gravity, enhancing its dynamics. Its top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) and is expected to go from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 4.6 seconds. Under normal driving conditions the i8 is expected to deliver 80 mpg‑US (2.9 L/100 km; 96 mpg‑imp) under the European cycle. A full charge of the battery will take less than 2 hours using 220 V. The positioning of the motor and engine over the axles results in optimum 50/50 weight distribution.
The production BMW i8 was designed by Benoit Jacob. The production version was unveiled at the 2013 International Motor Show Germany, followed by 2013 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Its design is heavily influenced by the BMW M1 Homage concept car, which in turn pays homage to BMW’s last production mid-engined sports car prior to the i8: the BMW M1.
The BMW i8 features butterfly doors, head-up display, rear-view cameras and partially false engine noise. Series production of customer vehicles began in April 2014. The electric two-speed drivetrain is developed and produced by GKN. It was the first production car with laser headlights, reaching further than LED lights.
The i8 has a vehicle weight of 1,485 kg (3,274 lb) (DIN kerb weight) and a low drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26. In all-electric mode the BMW i8 has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). In Sport mode the i8 delivers a mid-range acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph) in 2.6 seconds. The electronically controlled top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph).
The 20,000th i8 was produced in December 2019, one of the limited Ultimate Sophisto Edition models. The production cycle of the i8 ended in June 2020. In total, there were 20,465 units produced: 16,581 coupés and 3,884 roadsters.
BMW i8 Range and fuel economy
The production i8 has a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a usable capacity of 5.2 kWh and intelligent energy management that delivers an all-electric range of 37 km (23 mi) under the NEDC cycle. Under the EPA cycle, the range in EV mode is 15 mi (24 km), and the total range is 330 mi (530 km).
The production version has a fuel efficiency of 2.1 L/100 km (134.5 mpg‑imp; 112.0 mpg‑US) under the NEDC test with carbon emissions of 49 g/km. Under EPA cycle, the i8 combined fuel economy in EV mode was rated 76 equivalent (MPG-equivalent) (3.1 L gasoline equivalent/100 km; 91 mpg-imp gasoline equivalent), with an energy consumption of 43 kW-hrs/100 mi and gasoline consumption of 0.1 gal-US/100 mi. The combined fuel economy when running only with gasoline (after the battery is drained empty) is 28 mpg‑US (8.4 L/100 km; 34 mpg‑imp) for city driving, and 29 mpg‑US (8.1 L/100 km; 35 mpg‑imp) in highway.