BMW i8: Driving Luxury into the Future

Table of Contents

Overview of BMW i8

When it comes to the leading manufacturers of motorbikes and automobiles, we all know BMW is among the top few brands. Their vehicles always have excellent built quality. Whether it’s the interior or the exterior, BMW ensures its look and feel is premium.

BMW i8 is one such vehicle, a plug-in hybrid sports car. Both the BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW i8 Roadster are high-performing vehicles featuring a synchronous electric motor. It has an all-wheel drive system with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The comfortable front seats allow for a smooth ride through long journeys. It also has a top-notch power that makes driving super fun throughout.

What more does the BMW i8 offer? We will explore that in this article.

Origin and Evolution

Before the model was unveiled in 2013, the i8’s initial turbodiesel concept car was uncovered at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany. Its mass production started the following year, and its production model was finally uncovered in 2013.

This vehicle’s concept was basically part of BMW’s “Project i”. It was sold and marketed separately from the BMW or Mini. In 2009, BMW was working on a new sports car and previewed its ideas with a concept, 2009’s Vision Efficient Dynamic. This was the new name for blending environmental friendliness with traditional BMW driving characteristics.

The BMW i8 didn’t turn out to be a hatchback or a Sedan; instead, it was a coupe having dramatic glass doors, kicking off the colors and a few details.

The i8 model produced by BMW was then uncovered at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the final release was made in June 2014. The vehicle delivery in the US started in August 2014.

Another beast roadster version of the i8 was launched in May 2018. But unfortunately, the BMW i8 is no longer available as its production ceased in June 2020.

Power, Performance, and Efficiency

Speaking of the 2020 BMW i8, there’s a 1.5-litre three-cylinder gas engine along with an 11.6 kWh battery back, followed by two powerful electric motors, all set with an all-wheel drive system.

These three power sources collectively generate a total of 369 horses that pull all four wheels effectively. For the i8 roadster, the 0 to 60 mph time is 4.1 seconds, which shows that it’s not the fastest supercar.

The acceleration of this car is also pretty quick, particularly when the car is in Sports mode. However, you will notice a rough ride in city traffic due to the transition from electric to engine power, which is quite obvious. Nonetheless, the car is super fun on the highways, and its handling limits are approachable, too.

Exploring the Interior Features

When you step inside the car, you will clearly notice how the focus is on both comfort and practicality. It’s a coupe with seats for two passengers only, but they are super comfortable. Other than that, it has basic controls that you will be quite familiar with if you own a BMW before.

With touches of leather, it has heated power seats and a power-adjustable wheel. There is little to no space for luggage, and you won’t find a lot of pockets and space for keeping small items. However, its upward-opening door looks super cool and can be opened and closed easily.

Color Options

There is a sophisticated palette of color options offered by the BMW i8, which reflects its futuristic and sporty personality. From monochromatic tones to vibrant metallic finishes, there’s a range of options available.

Following are the exterior available options:

  • Crystal White Pearl Metallic with BMW Frozen Blue
  • Sophisto Gray Metallic with BMW Frozen Blue Accent
  • Sophisto Gray Metallic with Frozen Gray Accent
  • Special Order Color
  • E-Copper Metallic with Frozen Gray Accent
  • Crystal White Pearl Metallic with Frozen Gray Accent

The BMW i8 comes in the following Interior colors:

  • Giga Ivory White
  • E-Copper Exclusive
  • Tera Exclusive Dalbergia Brown
  • Giga Amido

Exploring the Infotainment Technology

Previous BMW owners will find themselves familiar with the infotainment system of the i8 as there’s not much difference. First off, there’s a large 8.8-inch touchscreen, which is incorporated on the top of the dashboard. The wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth, hands-free calling and audio streaming. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are also present in some models. Gesture control, voice commands, and navigation systems are also found in the BMW i8.

Space and Storage in BMW i8

The BMW i8 is a supercar and doesn’t come with a lot of storage and cargo space. You will find only 154 liters of luggage space, which is also found under the rear cover of the car. This is just enough to fit a couple of weekend bags only. Sometimes, the two small rear seats can be utilized for carrying luggage. Other than that, you will be quite disappointed if you have bigger and heavier items to carry.

Safety Features

The BMW i8 is equipped with a lot of modern safety features that are also found in other supercars. They are added to ensure driver and passenger safety. The features may vary by trim level and model year, but here’s what you will find:

  • Traction control system
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • airbags
  • antilock braking system
  • Dynamic stability control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Parking sensors
  • Surround-view camera system

BMW i8’s Stand Among Competitors

There are some great, high-performing plug-in hybrid sports cars that give stiff competition to the BMW i8. One of the biggest rivals is the Porsche 911, which is known for bearing a legendary sports car heritage. Though this vehicle comes in a wide range of performance variants, it has pure driving dynamics. While Porsche is better than the i8 in a lot of ways, you will still see an i8 overshadowing it in terms of hybrid technology and eco-friendly credentials.

When talking about the formidable rivals of BMW i8, there’s no way we don’t talk about the Audi R8. This car is known for its V10 engine, high performance, and striking design overall; what a perfect car the Audi R8 is. But the only way the i8 wins is its hybrid efficiency or electric-only driving capability.

Pros

  • Comfortable for daily use
  • Modern and futuristic design
  • Offers the flexibility of both gasoline engine and electric-only driving
  • Equipped with modern technology and high-quality materials

Cons

  • Limited trunk space
  • It comes with a high price tag
  • High maintenance and repair costs

Decoding Fuel Economy of BMW i8

In the electric-only mode, the BMW i8 has an estimated range of 15 to 18 miles on a full charge. However, in hybrid mode, this vehicle combines the power of a gasoline engine and an electric motor to deliver 30 to 35 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

Pricing

BMW i8 Model YearPricing
2020 BMW i8 Coupe$148,495
2020 BMW i8 Roadster$164,295
2019 BMW i8 Coupe$148,495
2019 BMW i8 Roadster$164,295
2018 BMW i8 Base$147,500
2017 BMW i8 Base$144,395

Drive Abilities

With its exotic performance and styling, the BMW i8 feels super quiet in the silent electric mode, whether moving through city streets or running through highways. It gives an emission-free, smooth ride with a serene experience. With its low center of gravity and the hybrid powertrain, the BMW i8 features enhanced cornering stability and agility. During the hybrid mode, the combination of a powered engine and electric motor delivers an impressive acceleration. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, as discussed earlier. The engine note is also super sporty and distinctive, which rightly complements the car’s athletic character.

Conclusion

The BMW i8 is one interesting car and one of the groundbreaking sports featuring the future of automotive technology. The future of automotive technology is having the efficiency of both gasoline engines and electric motors. The silent electric motor, combined with the striking design, gives an amazing ride experience. Though its price is at the higher end of the spectrum, we cannot deny it gives value. It is a powerful and responsive car with an appealing interior and some top-notch infotainment features. It is indeed a remarkable and eco-conscious sports car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What downside do we see in the BMW i8?

Like most BMW vehicles, the i8 is also equipped with a light steering wheel. It also has many electrical issues, typically stemming from the high-voltage battery.

How long can my BMW i8’s battery survives?

The BMW i8’s battery can die any time after 3 to 5 years. However, its life is also dependent on the weather conditions, battery type, driving habits, and the size of the battery.

Does the BMW i8 come with a warranty or maintenance coverage?

Yes, the BMW i8 comes with a warranty that you will typically find in any other automobile. For instance, the powertrain warranty covers 50,000 miles or four years, and its hybrid components are covered for 100,000 miles or eight years.

Written by: Motorcardata

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