BMW has unveiled its hybrid sports car, the i8 at the Auto Expo 2014. The car made its global debut at the Frankfurt Show in 2013 and will be launched in India by the end of this year. It was unveiled by Phillip Von Saar, chief of BMW India and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar at the BMW pavilion.
The car boasts of distinct panels at the front, sills and over the rear wheels. The headlamp cluster gets LEDs with an alternative for customers to opt for unique ‘laser’ headlights. BMW claims that these throw white light and are 70 per cent more effective and brighter than standard LEDs. The exterior of the vehicle also shows the C-pillar which has aerofoils and the car features gull-wing styled doors.
The carmaker says that all the glass that has been used in the making of the car has been chemically hardened. On the inside, echoing the lightweight engineering approach, the cabin gets lighter seats also designed to minimise discomfort. The interiors have been created with a futuristic layout with touch screen instrument panels.
The BMW i8 is powered by a 1.5-litre twin-turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, which, when combined with an electric motor produces 362bhp of power and 570Nm of torque. The petrol mill churns out 231bhp of power and 320Nm of torque while the electric motor generates a power output of 131bhp and a torque of 250Nm.
The power from the petrol engine, mated to the six-speed automatic gearbox, is transmitted to the front wheels while the energy from the electric motor will be sent to the rear wheels. The car is capable of doing a top speed of 250kmph (electronically limited) and the 0 to 100kmph sprint in 4.5 seconds. With low emission output levels, the vehicle is expected to deliver a fuel efficiency of 50kmpl.
The BMW i8 is portrayed as an efficient and fun to drive car and pays homage to the legendary 8 Series of vehicles that were sold during the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Though different from the outgoing conventional sports cars, it is expected to be pitted against the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911.