The BMW i8 has only been revealed in concept form so far, but the brand is being proactive in the type of reception it wants for the hybrid. Surprisingly, BMW will not be lining the hybrid up next to the likes of Tesla, but rather, challenging gas-guzzling supercars like Ferrari or Porsche. The idea is that the BMW i8 may attain 80 miles per gallon thanks to a hybrid powertrain, but that it is still as tough and desirable as a Ferrari and should be on par with those types of brands.
BMW takes aim at Ferrari and other supercar brands with its hybrid i8
The concept of a plug-in car is still far from winning over the masses. Will BMW be able to convince buyers to view the i8 as an economical supercar, or will issues like range anxiety continue to prevail? BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch seems to feel that the right marketing techniques will show that the BMW i8 is simply a supercar with enviable fuel economy, without skimping in the power and looks arenas.
To help separate the BMW i8 from the current hybrid offerings, Willisch stated: “We are not talking supertanks, we are talking supercars.” This statement refers to the rather svelte curb weight of the i8 compared to other hybrids. Adding electric components to engines tends to add weight. For example, Tesla’s tips the scale at around 4,647 pounds while the i8 is a lean 3,200. Overall, BMW is determined to see the i8 compete with cars in its performance class, and whether they are hybrid cars will hopefully be irrelevant.
The BMW i8 at a glance:
- Two seats and two gullwing doors
- Turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gas engine producing 220 horsepower is enhanced with a 131-horse electric motor.
- It hits the 0-60 mile per hour mark in under 5 seconds, which is not bad for a first hybrid model. There is always room for improvement. Supercars like Lamborghini or Ferrari can hit that in under 4 seconds typically.
- Top speed for the i8 is around 155 miles per hour
- Pricing has not been finalized, but guesses place it between $120,000 up to $150,000
The BMW i8 spyder concept
The production version of the BMW i8 will arrive in 2014. Though it has been seen as a convertible in some concept versions, it will be initially produced as a coupe. It can be assumed that a spyder version could be created depending on the success of the coupe.
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