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Archive for the ‘BMW i8’ Category

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

PostHeaderIcon Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

BMW has introduced tons of special versions of its i cars – the i3 and the i8. Now, the BMW Czech Republic division revealed a new stunning pair of special editions- the BMW i3 and the i8 Starlight Edition, two models that show off the exceptional possibilities of BMW’s paint partners at Toplac. As the official partners of the BMW ColorSystem, Toplac employed painter Miroslav Spicak and designer Zoltan Matuska to create the unique BMW i3 and i8 drizzled in gold. Literally.

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 BMW i8

turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor

The BMW i8 really stands out in the car world. It’s considered ugly by some and gorgeous by others. It was one of the first performance models from BMW to make use of a hybrid drivetrain and, despite the fact that it had a very limited all-electric range, it still delivered exactly what most customers wanted. Unfortunately, the world isn’t long for the i8 as BMW has recently hinted that there won’t be a successor, but the current model should stick around for a while as it was recently updated for the 2019 model year. There wasn’t a lot that came new for 2019, but there were some minor tweaks to the drivetrain, a slightly larger battery pack, and some other styling changes here and there – just enough to keep things fresh.

A 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine provided a little bit of getup while the hybrid drivetrain did the rest. All told, there was 228 ponies and 236 pound-feet of torque from the engine and another 141 ponies and 184 pound-feet from the motor. It can hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and tops out at 155 mph (or 75 mph in EV mode) It’s not the fastest car on the block, but it sure does look pretty cool. So, we asked ourselves: why not make it the wallpaper of the day? And, we did. You can take our hand-picked favorite or browse the gallery below for more cool choices.

PostHeaderIcon The BMW i8 S Isn’t Happening Because Nobody Wants One

turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor

The BMW i8 sports car may have an uncertain future, but sales of the model, including the i8 Roadster, are going strong. The pioneering hybrid sports car is apparently so popular that BMW isn’t considering a more powerful version anytime soon. That means that those who were hopeful of seeing the i8 S will have to at least temper those expectations. According to BMW i8 Product Manager Marcus Pluntke, the i8 S is not on BMW’s radar at the moment because there isn’t a strong enough demand for one.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Planning Different Sized Battery Cells, So Expect to Pony Up For Anything Above 280 Miles Per Charge

New-gen i8 will be all-electric

The BMW Group has big plans for its future all-electric lineup. A big part of those plans is the development of a number of battery packs with different amounts of power and range. The automaker’s goal is to create different battery packs that it can put in its future electric cars, at least depending on the segment those EVs will be slotted in. That means that, in addition to carrying different amounts of power, these batteries will also differ in size, depending on the size of the model that’s going to use them.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Will Use Different Battery Designs so Future Electric Cars Won’t Look Weird

There’s a lot we can say about the BMW i3, but the most obvious is that it, like myself, wasn’t graced by God in the beauty department. For me, you can thank less-than-favorable genes, but for the i3, it boiled down to BMW’s lack of experience with EVs at the time. The size and position of the batteries were far from ideal as were the general dimensions of the EV powertrain it developed for the i3. Luckily, that will be a thing of the past as BMW isn’t only focused on different capacity, but different shape of its future batteries as well. This is a move that will ensure models like the BMW i9, the iNext, and all electric and hybrid versions of its current models all look as sleek and sexy as their ancestors and ICE-toting counterparts.

PostHeaderIcon BMW’s Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

Every automaker has ambitions to get a bigger piece of the electric car market in China, and since the segment itself is on the cusp of a game-changing boom, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from a company like BMW. The German automaker is announcing a massive expansion to its charging network in China with plans to install more than 80,000 charging poles in over 100 Chinese cities. The company’s goal is to have these poles up-and-running when its fleet of new electric cars hit the market in the coming years.

PostHeaderIcon BMW’s Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

Every automaker has ambitions to get a bigger piece of the electric car market in China, and since the segment itself is on the cusp of a game-changing boom, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from a company like BMW. The German automaker is announcing a massive expansion to its charging network in China with plans to install more than 80,000 charging poles in over 100 Chinese cities. The company’s goal is to have these poles up-and-running when its fleet of new electric cars hit the market in the coming years.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Won’t Mass-Produce EVs Right Now Because it’s Too Expensive

multiple drive modes for efficiency and sportiness

Just because a lot of automakers are aggressively pushing for electrification, don’t expect BMW to try to keep pace with the rest of them. The German automaker has no intention to mass produce electric cars until 2020 because it doesn’t have the technology that can help scale up production to profitable levels. At the moment, BMW is focusing its attention on making that technology scalable and more modular, two key factors that will help the company elevate its involvement in electrification in the coming years.


BMW Won't Mass-Produce EVs Right Now Because it's Too Expensive - image 748128
“Make no mistake, the German automaker is holding fast on its plan to have 25 new electrified models by 2025”

Make no mistake, the German automaker is holding fast on its plan to have 25 new electrified models by 2025, including 12 that will be offered as fully electric. All of that is still in the works, but just because the long-term plan is in place, it doesn’t mean that BMW will rush its development of new technologies just to keep pace with what other automakers are doing.

At the moment, BMW is developing its fifth-generation electric vehicle technology after equipping the i8 Roadster, which is scheduled to hit dealerships in May, with its fourth-generation electric drivetrain technology. The latter technology can be used on a car like the i8, but, according to CEO Harald Krueger, it’s not viable to be used for mass production purposes.

“We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive,” he told analysts in Munich, as quoted by Reuters. “We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation.”


BMW Won't Mass-Produce EVs Right Now Because it's Too Expensive - image 748149
“In addition to the development of the fifth generation electric vehicle technology, Bimmer is also working on its evolved version, the sixth generation electric vehicle technology”

Krueger also admitted that the cost difference between its fourth and fifth generation electric vehicle technology runs up to a “two-digit number” in percentage terms, significant enough in BMW’s mind to refrain from jumping over the edge before it’s prepared to. So the company is taking a more measured approach, one that it believes is the best way to successfully address its current needs while still sticking to its long-term plans. “If you want to win the race, you must be the most cost competitive in the segment, otherwise you cannot scale up the volume,” Krueger added.

In addition to the development of the fifth generation electric vehicle technology, Bimmer is also working on its evolved version, the sixth generation electric vehicle technology. Part of that job entails investments amounting to nine-figure sums dedicated to battery cell research.

Given its reasons, it’s easy to understand where BMW is coming from.
It is tempting for a company with as many resources as Bimmer to rush the development of its electric vehicle technology with the hopes of becoming one of the first with a seat at this party. But if it isn’t ready, it isn’t ready. The more measured approach may cost publicity in the short-term, but it does help its prospects over time.

Better to be late than to show up early without any pants.

References

BMW i8


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748125

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.


BMW Won't Mass-Produce EVs Right Now Because it's Too Expensive - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Coupe.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won’t Return To Gas Only

turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor

As we all know, the EVs are coming, and they’re coming in a big way. BMW knows this, and is actively pushing a new string of hybrids and all-electrics in a variety of segments to fill demand. And, according to a recent Digital Trends interview with BMW’s chief of electric powertrains Stefan Juraschek, it’s looking like that’s never gonna change.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only - image 728696
“In a BMW-commisioned survey, 90-percent of i3 owners said they wouldn't go back to a gas-powered vehicle; about 60-percent of hybrid owners will stick to hybrids, and 30-percent will switch to an EV.”

Although BMW built its reputation on offering sporty, luxurious gas-burners and diesels, the future involves bigger batteries and electric motors. BMW knows this, and now, its lineup includes standouts like the hybrid and all-electric BMW i3 city car, as well as the hybrid i8 sports car (which also just so happens to include a smattering of all-electric modes). Then there’s BMW’s numerous concept vehicles, such as the i Vision Dynamics that dropped last year, plus its iPerformance lineup, which includes the 330e sedan, 530e sedan, 740e sedan, and X5 xDrive40e SUV.

That’s a rather impressive number of models to sport extra electrons, but it makes sense in a rapidly changing market to hedge your bets. Until things start to settle, placing all your eggs in one basket is usually a recipe for disaster.

“First of all, we are convinced that we need more than one solution,”
Juraschek told Digital Trends. “Customer behavior is changing. People are becoming more and more attracted to the experience of driving a hybrid or an electric car.”

Juraschek also pointed out that customers enjoyed the quiet operation and smoothness of electrified powertrains, and that after living with an EV, they were much less likely to go back to a gas-only option.

“We sent several hundred i3 owners a survey last year,” Juraschek explains. “Ninety percent of them told us they’re not going back to a car with an internal combustion engine. On the hybrid, we’ve got about 60 percent who are staying. Thirty percent will switch to a pure electric vehicle, while only 10 percent are going back to a combustion engine. Driving electric is attractive.”


The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only - image 728607
“In a rapidly changing market, it makes sense to hedge your bets. Until things start to settle, placing all your eggs in one basket is usually a recipe for disaster.”

Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Battery size, and more specifically vehicle range, are both major areas that need to see development, according to Juraschek. BMW’s goal is to reach 300 miles between plug-ins, while effective quick-charging solutions are also high on the list.

Indeed, one of the all-electric segment’s biggest drawbacks is a lack of convenience. While internal-combustion vehicles can simply pull into a gas station and fill up for an extra 300 miles of range in a matter of minutes, it takes the standard EV several hours to do the same. Turn on peripherals like the stereo or air conditioning, and range takes a big hit as well.


2017 BMW 330e iPerformance - image 670152
“BMW is bullish about the technology. Juraschek points to Mini as a brand that's particularly well-suited for electrification, considering the small, city-car attitude.”

Still, BMW is bullish about the technology. Juraschek points to Mini as a brand that’s particularly well-suited for electrification, considering the small, city-car attitude. Mini’s very first all-electric model is scheduled for a debut next year, and according to Juraschek, will share drivetrain components with the BMW i3.

Of course, clamping down on technology developments should also be pretty high on the priority list. At the Consumer Electronics Show, Henrik Fisker showed up boasting about a breakthrough in solid state batteries, promising huge range (upwards of 500 miles) and recharge times equivalent to a regular gas fill-up.


2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e - image 621559
““We have to think about what infrastructure we need at that point. I think our cars will use lithium-ion batteries for the next two or three generations,” Juraschek said.”

However, Juraschek was reluctant to admit solid state batteries as a valid replacement for traditional lithium-ion units, at least right away. “It’s too early to discuss BMW’s entry point for solid state,” he told Digital Trends. “It’s still possible to improve [lithium-ion] technology, it seems to be robust. Looking at solid state, one issue is temperature. The operating range of these batteries is higher. Right now, if you put everything together on a system level, we do not know what is the advantage at the end of the day. We have to think about what infrastructure we need at that point. I think our cars will use lithium-ion batteries for the next two or three generations.”

All told, it remains to be seen exactly which direction the Bavarians will go. The i3 and i8 seem to be solid performers for the brand, so expect to see some development there, while the rest of the range should see an efficiency boost thanks to the inclusion of hybrid systems. However, in the end, BMW’s approach seems more reactive than proactive, swimming with the current rather than seeking to set it. Which, in a sea overflowing with failed start-ups and dead-end EV projects, probably makes the most sense.

References

BMW i8


The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Coupe.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748122

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728622

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 Roadster

new interior color schemes for the 2019 model year

The world got its first official look at the production-ready BMW i8 hybrid sports car back in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Critics and enthusiasts alike went gaga over its sci-fi good looks while reveling in its promises of speed and efficiency, and consumers responded by buying over 10,000 examples of the i8 as of November of 2016, making it the best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car in the world. Impressive stuff, no doubt, but now there’s a new model out, and this time, it’s got a bit off the top. This roofless iteration of the Bavarian’s hybrid sports car made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, and brings with it a few small tweaks to the exterior styling, updated tech in the cabin, and a little extra oomph in the electrified powertrain department as well.

Overall, the updates are pretty minor, refining what’s already there without changing much. And considering the widespread acclaim levied at the i8 in the few short years it’s been on the market, it makes sense to keep things more or less unchanged, right? That said, the hybrid and EV market have seen some mighty impressive advances over the course of that time period, which begs the question – can unlimited headroom keep the i8 feeling fresh for the 2019 model year?

Updated 01/24/2018: We’ve updated this review with all the latest official info straight from BMW!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.

Exterior

  • Looks very similar to the Coupe
  • 3D-printed roof mechanism made from aluminum
  • 16 seconds to close and open fabric top
  • Top down looks even better than the hardtop
  • Aero-optimized exterior
  • Standard 20-inch alloy wheels shave weight
  • New paint options
  • “Roadster” badges help to identify it

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748144
“The roof operation is electrically assisted, with less than 16 seconds required to open and close it.”

Let’s just jump straight to the headline, shall we?

The biggest, most obvious update for the 2018 model year i8 is the addition of a new Roadster body style, which adds a soft-top roof made from high-grade fabric. The roof operation is electrically assisted, with less than 16 seconds required to open and close it. You can also put it up or down at speeds up to 31 mph. The top is stored in a perpendicular position in the rear of the car, folding down into a “Z” shape when you want extra atmosphere. The folding mechanism is also made from aluminum using new 3D printing technology, which goes well with the i8’s futuristic themes. “This manufacturing method for aluminum components breaks new ground in the automotive industry and allows the topologically optimized bracings to be produced in a geometric form, which would not be possible using conventional casting techniques and ensures an optimal balance between component rigidity and weight,” BMW says.

With the roof up, the Roadster has more or less the same similar profile as the coupe, and incorporates the same styling elements. These include a flat hood and a long roofline. It’s like an inter-dimensional speed wedge, complete with a kidney grille in the nose.

One notable difference can be found in the rear, where the Roadster gets a pair of bulging, curvaceous pillars that run behind the head rests and into the tail in a U-shaped design. The rear deck is flatter and lower on the Roadster compared to the Coupe, undoubtedly to help give it reduced turbulence inside the cabin when the roof is down.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 763030
“Speaking of roof down, the i8 Roadster looks fantastic with the top dropped. It's like an inter-dimensional speed wedge, complete with a kidney grille in the nose.”

Speaking of roof down, the i8 Roadster looks fantastic with the top dropped. The swoopy, geometric design elements in the profile are emphasized without the extra bit up top, bringing the whole thing lower to the ground in the process. Indeed, none of the coupe’s head-turning capability is lost in the Roadster – in fact, we might go as far as saying the i8 actually looks better as a roadster.

And while it’s certainly a tasty bit of eye candy, the i8’s exterior design is also rather functional, sporting an aero-optimized layout that helps to strike a balance between performance and efficiency. Standout features include an air flap control system, air curtains in the front apron, a flat underbody, molded side skirts, and air ducts placed between the rear lights and roof frame. Air is now redirected through the sides of the car, rather than through the hood and nose, with the atmosphere venting out close to the wheel arches and through to the underbody.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749485
“The swoopy, geometric design elements in the profile are emphasized without the extra bit up top, bringing the whole thing lower to the ground in the process.”

New for the 2018 model year is a fresh selection of exterior colors, which now include shades like E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic, both of which are offered with accents in a Frozen Grey metallic color.

The Roadster also comes standard with a unique radial-spoke wheel design in a two-tone finish, also available in an optional Jet Black. These rollers measure in at 20 inches in diameter and are made from a lightweight alloy. In fact, they’re so light, each wheel actually shaves off 2.2 pounds compared to the previous i8’s alloy rollers. Buyers get four additional wheel designs (each also measured at 20 inches) for extra customization.

And of course, don’t forget the requisite “Roadster” badges to identify the model for anyone left wondering.

Interior

  • Gullwing doors are kept as is
  • Loses rear bench +2 seating
  • Multiple color combos offered
  • Leather and cloth upholstery options included
  • Includes the latest infotainment gear
  • Standard heads-up display
  • Multiple display modes and connected features

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749488
“The dash layout is a wavy assemblage with multiple layers added in a horizontal fashion, plus a wide center tunnel dividing the left and right seating positions.”

Just like on the Coupe, ingress and egress in the Roadster is aided by a set of attractive gullwing doors, which open up and forward rather than out. Settle into the cockpit, and you’ll find seating for two passengers, as opposed to the 2+2 layout found in the Coupe. Of course, this is due to the extra space needed to put the roof away, leaving the i8 Roadster with rather meager storage space. But that’s to be expected, and we’re not gonna dock points because the tiny rear bench was tossed. In fact, the Roadster still has a few cubbies scattered around for storage, including a 3.5-cubic-foot compartment located between the roof box and the seats, plus a secondary storage space in the rear that provides an additional 4.7 cubic feet.

Hit the button to open the roof, and the rear window will automatically rise 1.9 inches to help cut through the wind and direct it towards the rear, enhancing cabin comfort while reducing turbulence. The driver can tweak the rear window height to better control the air flow as desired.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748139
“The dash layout is a wavy assemblage with multiple layers added in a horizontal fashion, plus a wide center tunnel dividing the left and right seating positions.”

Standard spec for the cabin includes a sports steering wheel that’s wrapped in leather and mounted shift paddles for semi-manual gear changes. Behind the wheel is a multi-function instrument display, plus there are standard heated seats with fully electric adjustments. The dash layout is a wavy assemblage with multiple layers added in a horizontal fashion, plus a wide center tunnel dividing the left and right seating positions.

Customers will enjoy the “Giga” interior trim, plus the full-leather upholstery finished in an Ivory White and Black double-color scheme. You can also get the Giga interior trim in Dark Amido. Further options include the “Halo” trim with cloth and leather upholstery in a Carum and Dalbergia color scheme, and a new Tera World Copper trim with cloth and leather upholstery in an Amido and E-Copper color combo. Overall, we think the two-tone options work quite well with the layout and design.

But of course, as you might expect for a spacey hybrid sports car, the infotainment features list is extensive, and includes a host of features from BMW Connected, ConnectedDrive, and 360 Electric. Kicking it off is an 8.8-inch freestanding display, while Navigation system Professional and Driving Assistant both come as standard equipment. Running it all is the iDrive 6.0 operating system, with inputs made by the Touch Controller rotary knob located in the center console. Infotainment navigation is achieved with a tile-like presentation for the various apps and features.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749457
“As you might expect for a spacey hybrid sports car, the infotainment features list is extensive, and includes a host of features from BMW Connected, ConnectedDrive, and 360 Electric.”

Behind the steering wheel is a set of fully digital multi-function gauges. These will actually change their appearance depending on the mode selected, for example, Sport mode is set in an orange tint with round dials, while Comfort offers up a blue power meter display, and Eco Pro includes an efficiency gauge. You can also keep tabs on the powertrain stats via the Control Display and iDrive menu, which provides an energy flow graphic. You know, just in case you wanna get really nerdy with it.

The infotainment system can also integrate with your smartwatch and smartphone for added functionality, and it provides a variety of connected services, including trip planning, refueling information, trip status notifications via text messages, traffic info, parking info, concierge services, and more.

The i8 Roadster comes with a good deal of standard equipment, with the tunes routed through a Harman Kardon stereo rocking 12 speakers pumping out 360 watts of power. There’s also a standard heads-up display, which, in Sport mode, displays stuff like engine rpm, the current selected gear, and a set of shift lights. On the safety and convenience front, there’s standard cruise control, automatic braking, and surround view cameras, plus frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, park distance control, automatic high beams, speed limit info, and cross traffic alert. Finally, there’s an Intelligent Emergency Call feature that will relay the crash severity and vehicle location in case you really bin it.

Drivetrain

  • Same powertrain and hybrid system as the Coupe
  • Turbocharged three-cylinder engine in the rear
  • Single synchronous electric motor in front
  • Hybrid AWD grip
  • 369 horsepower total, 12 more than before
  • 18 miles of all-electric range
  • 60 mph in 4.4 seconds (0.2 seconds slower than Coupe)
  • 155-mph top speed
  • Braking energy reclamation feature
  • Battery charges in 3 hours from 7.2-kW power supply
  • Multiple drive modes

2015 BMW i8 - image 518243
“While the gas engine drives the rear wheels, a single synchronous electric motor is mounted in the front, sending power and instant torque to the front axle through a two-speed transmission.”

One of the BMW i8’s best party tricks is its ability to provide emission-free driving and silent running on demand, and the Roadster is no different, packing the same BMW eDrive technology, AWD system, and plug-in hybrid powertrain as the Coupe. Behind the seats is a TwinPower Turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder internal combustion gasoline engine, which makes as much as 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque thanks to features like Valvetronic variable valve timing and direct fuel injection. The ICE’s power is sent to the rear axle through a six-speed Steptronic gearbox.

While the gas engine drives the rear wheels, a single synchronous electric motor is mounted in the front, sending power and instant torque to the front axle through a two-speed transmission. The combo gives the i8 its AWD grip, providing both the high-revving power of a turbo gas engine and the low-end punch of an electric motor.

This time around, BMW updated the powertrain to be more efficient, tweaking the programming to include further driving situations wherein electric power was the exclusive source of motivation. Bimmer says it set it so the gas engine would only be put to use when accelerating hard, with advanced start/stop technology integrated to keep the engine sipping gas at optimal rates. The engineers refined the exhaust note as well – who knew a three-banger could sound so aggressive?


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748124
“The biggest powertrain updates pertain to the electric side of the equation. The big news is an updated lithium-ion battery, which adds an extra 12 horsepower.”

However, the most important powertrain updates pertain to the electric side of the equation. The big news is an updated lithium-ion battery, which now boasts an increased cell capacity up to 34 Ah from the previous unit’s 20 Ah. Gross energy capacity up is also up, now rated at 11.6 kWh from the previous i8’s 7.1 kWh.

All told, the new cell configuration adds an extra 12 horsepower, bringing the electric motor’s output to 141 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque total. The all-electric range was increased as well, and now offers up to 18 miles of electron-powered go, a 30-percent increase compared to the old model.

Put the ICE and electric motor together, and they yield a total of 369 horsepower, which means that 12 extra horsepower was basically added on top of the old model’s peak output. Impressively, the i8 will also return upwards of 70 MPGe. The 0-to-60 mph sprint clocks in at 4.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds slower than the coupe model, while top speed is rated at a Coupe-matching 155 mph (no word on what it’ll do with the electronic limiter removed).


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748164
“Put the ICE and electric motor together, and they yield a total of 369 horsepower, which means that 12 extra horsepower was basically added on top of the old model's peak output. Impressively, the i8 will also return upwards of 70 MPGe”

The Roadster can also hit 65 mph using only electric power, or you can press the eDrive button, and the all-electric top speed will be increased to 75 mph. There’s also a variety of different drive modes, such as Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro, each of which should be pretty self-explanatory. If you’re looking for all-electric modes, the selection is limited to Comfort and Eco Pro.

The multiple drive modes also tweak the energy management system. With the hybrid modes, the electric motor provides extra go while also offering energy reclamation under braking and on the overrun. The system is smart too, integrating with the navigation system to switch between gas and electric power as needed for maximum efficiency (for example, electric power is best suited for stop-and-go traffic and downhill sections).

Finally, users can juice up using their BMW-branded i Charging Station. Utilizing a 7.2-kW power supply, the i8 can top off its battery in about 3 hours. Also, if you are registered with the ChargeNow network, you’ll receive “unrestricted access” to any of the various charging stations located across the U.S.

Chassis And Handling

  • Aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic used throughout
  • Weighs in at 3,513 pounds, just 132 pounds more than the Coupe
  • Standard Dynamic Damper Control

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749469
“Weight saving measures include features like newly designed frame-less gullwing doors that incorporate additional CFRP and an aluminum outer shell. The windscreen frame is also made from CFRP.”

Just like the Coupe, the BMW i8 Roadster utilizes an aluminum chassis and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, blessing it with high rigidity and a surprisingly low weight. The car’s heft is also evenly distributed front-to-back and mounted as low as possible, thanks primarily to the balanced rear and front locations of the ICE and electric motor respectively, and the central placement of the battery in the car’s underbody.

Additional weight saving measures include features like the newly designed frame-less gullwing doors that now incorporate additional CFRP, plus an aluminum outer shell. The windscreen frame is also made from CFRP, as are the swoopy side skirts. Meanwhile, the drive module, which is comprised of the powertrain, high-voltage battery, and suspension, once again incorporates a good deal of aluminum.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749478
“Thanks to all the alloys and composites, the i8 Roadster weighs only 3,513 pounds, an increase of 132 pounds compared to the hardtop model.”

Thanks to all the alloys and composites, the i8 Roadster offers the requisite sports car torsional rigidity, all despite the lack of a fixed roof for extra bracing. It’s also surprisingly lightweight, with the curb weight rated at 3,513 pounds, an increase of only 132 pounds compared to the hardtop model. Not bad at all, if you ask us. Typically, drop tops are significantly heavier than their convertible cousins, packing an additional couple hundred pounds in bracing to keep it from folding in on itself when attacking a corner.

The suspension system in place to manage the surprisingly low curb weight includes double wishbones in front and a five-link rear, all of which is made from aluminum. Standard spec tosses in Dynamic Damper Control, while the Roadster model benefits from custom suspension tuning, a specially configured steering system, firmer roll stabilization, and a few changes to the DSC as well.

Pricing


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749473

Sales for the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster kick off in the spring of 2018. Bimmer has yet to announce official pricing information, but considering the 2017 Coupe starts at $143,400, we’d expect the Roadster to ring in at just under $150,000, give or take a few grand.

Competition

Acura NSX Roadster


2014 Acura NSX Roadster
- image 442955

When Acura dropped the second-generation NSX at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the auto world went wild. Finally, Honda’s legendary nameplate had returned, and it brought with it a host of go-faster technology that placed it at the forefront of hybrid-flavored speed. Making it go is a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, which is hybridised by no less than three electric motors to produce an impressive 573 horsepower. The 0-to-60 mph sprint is done in a little less than 3 seconds, while top speed is rated at 191 mph. And while there’s no official word that a drop-top is on the way, it just makes sense to offer one, no?

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Acura NSX Roadster.

Tesla Roadster 2.0


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746104

While we’re still several years away from seeing this thing out on public roads, the second-generation Tesla Roadster looks to offer some pretty insane competition for the Bimmer. Scratch that – this thing is beyond insane, and deep into plaid territory. The claimed specs are light years ahead of what you get in the Bimmer, with a claimed 0-to-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed over 250 mph. Making the go is a three-motor powertrain laying down a Earth-turning 7,376 pound-feet of torque, while all-electric range is pegged at 620 miles per charge. Of course, these are all just unverified claims, so we’ll have to see where the Tesla really lands when it’s finally sold to the public, not to mention where the Bimmer will be in comparison. For now, though, keep an eye out for this one.

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster 2.0.

Conclusion


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 749474
“The handful of years between now and the i8's original release date have been a boom time in the hybrid segment, and a lot of what made the i8 so impressive in 2013 doesn't quite spark our interest like it once did.”

At its heart, the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster is a very exciting car. It’s got literally everything offered by the Coupe (except the rear +2 seats, of course), plus a heady dose of extra blue sky on demand. That makes it a fantastic option for those looking into the more eco-friendly options in the high-end roadster market. That much is obvious.

At the same time, though, we have to dock a few points from the Bimmer’s score for it’s lack of upgrades heading into the 2018 model year. When it was first released, the i8 was extremely exciting, offering AWD, sharp styling, solid speed, and a surprising level of efficiency to boot. What’s not to like?

Well, as it turns out, the handful of years between now and the i8’s original release date have been a boom time in the hybrid segment, and a lot of what made the i8 so impressive in 2013 doesn’t quite spark our interest like it once did. Yeah, it still looks great, and yeah, it’s still quick, but were expecting more than an extra 12 horsepower and a few extra miles with the latest update. Just look at rivals like the Acura NSX, which is also an AWD, spacey hybrid sports car, but it’ll simply demolish the Bimmer in the speed department, all while looking equally as good in the styling department. We were hoping for more from the Bavarians.

That said, the Roadster is still a fantastically exciting machine. We’d just wait until the next, more substantial update to pick one up.

  • Leave it
    • * Could be faster
    • * Rivals aren’t slowing down
    • * Loses the rear +2 seats

References

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Coupe.


2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

Read our full review on the current 2017 BMW i8.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.


maker logos - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

Updated History

Updated 07/03/2017: The new i8 Spyder is actually coming! BMW dropped the first teaser video for it!

Updated 05/12/2017: The upcoming BMW i8 Spyder was caught testing one more time, and this time we have the chance to get a closer look.

Updated 02/28/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming i8 Spyder during winter testing in Sweden.

Updated 07/03/2017: The new i8 Spyder is actually coming! BMW dropped the first teaser video for it!

Teaser video

The first official teaser video isn’t much of an actual teaser as it is footage with the camouflaged car we’ve already seen on public roads. However, in this video we can see the i8 Spyder with its doors open, which confirms that it will have butterfly-tipe doors, just like the coupe. This type of door configuration isn’t very common on convertibles, which makes it a pretty big deal.

Spy Shots

May 12, 2017 – BMW i8 Spyder caught up-close and personal


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 716249

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 716252

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 716246

February 28, 2017 – BMW i8 Spyder caught testing in Sweden


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 707155

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 707161

2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 707168

PostHeaderIcon The Future of the BMW i8 is Still in Limbo

The BMW i8 is still making a good case as a desirable model. The debut of the facelifted i8 in Detroit comes a month after the i8 Roadster showed up in Los Angeles. But just because the electric sports coupé remains relevant today, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be around in the not-so-distant future. There are ongoing discussions in Bavaria over the fate of the i8, and there’s growing sentiment that the coupé will end up becoming a one-generation wonder.


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728595
“At this point, BMW has yet to make a concrete decision on the i8’s fate, as well as that of the i3.”

At this point, BMW has yet to make a concrete decision on the i8’s fate, as well as that of the i3. According to Autocar, BMW believes that both models have served their purpose in this world. In the case of the i3, it was to show that the company can develop an electric car. The i8 has also achieved its purpose, which was for BMW to showcase its abilities in marrying performance and electrification into one package. The i3 and i8 both succeeded in their respective objectives, leaving Bimmer execs to ponder what the future holds for both models.

“We’re still deciding [about] the i8,” BMW i boss Robert Irlinger told the publication. “We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it’s called, or if it’s a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion.”

There is the possibility that the i8 becomes a long-standing model for BMW. On the other hand, it’s equally plausible that the electric coupé becomes a legacy model in the vein of the BMW M1.


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636
“Sales of the electric hatchback have tapered off in recent years, culminating in a less-than-stellar 2017 sales year when only 6,276 units of the i3 were sold in the U.S.”

It’s the same story with the i3, though, one that will be determined more by how popular it remains in the coming years. Sales of the electric hatchback have tapered off in recent years, culminating in a less-than-stellar 2017 sales year when only 6,276 units of the i3 were sold in the U.S. That’s a significant drop from the 7,625 i3 units BMW sold the year before.

If that trend continues, the i3 could be living on borrowed time, where it could join the i8 in BMW’s retirement facility.

References

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i9 Coupe.


2018 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748122

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728625

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.


2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

Read our full review on the current 2017 BMW i8.

PostHeaderIcon Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe you’re just in denial?), demand for crossovers and SUVs continues to consume just about every automotive segment imaginable. Even the well-established performance marques are susceptible to the siren song of profitable jacked-up suspension plus tons of practical rear cargo room, with models like the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus upending decades of sports car traditions. But what if we took it a step further? What if we gave eight iconic sports cars the SUV treatment? Welp, Jennings Motor Group did exactly that with the following renderings.

Continue reading for the full story.

2017 Ford Mustang SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753773

No matter the market, the Ford Mustang is undoubtedly considered ‘Merica’s sports car. And, as sales numbers will prove, ‘Merica also loves its SUVs. So then – what if you took the styling of the new sixth-generation pony car and grafted it to the front end of a tall-bodied SUV? Sounds like a red, white, and blue dream come true, right? Just make sure to tick the V-8 option under the hood – no four-banger needed here, thank you very much.

Alfa Romeo 4C SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753767

The Alfa Romeo 4C is classic sports car stuff – small, lightweight, excellent weight distribution, and smile-making handling chops. It’s also quite the looker, if you ask us. But that’s a formula we wouldn’t mind seeing in other segments as well, including SUVs. As such, this Italian beauty might have us clamoring for more, even with hotness like the Alfa Stelvio already out and about. We’re thinking a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder under the hood, plus a six-speed dual-clutch auto box to drive the rear wheels.

McLaren 720S SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753768

To help broaden its appeal beyond the unobtanium hypercars that make up the top of its lineup, McLaren also offers a variety of “entry-level” supercars with the Sports Series, which includes models like the 570 and 540. Then there’s the mid-grade Super Series, which bridges the gap to the top dog Ultimate Series and P1, thanks to the still-obscenely-quick 720. Of course, it’s all in the name of funding McLaren’s racing efforts, which means a 720S SUV might pay a few bills in case Fernando Alongo’s ride goes pop (again). We would expect V-8 power and surprisingly good aero bits for this one.

BMW i8 SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753770

We love the BMW i8 for a variety of reasons. Not only is it quick, but its got tons of tech under the skin. Carbon fiber everything plus hybrid motivation can make for a potent combo, even in SUV guise. We’d expect AWD to make a reappearance with an i8 SUV, plus an ICE with a few extra cylinders to help it retain the i8’s sporting intentions. You probably wanna move the gas-burner into the nose as well. Oh, and that sci-fi exterior styling? Looks pretty good on an SUV – at least we think it does…

Aston Martin V12 Vantage SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753769

Aston Martin is well versed in the art of the grand tourer. Make it comfortable inside, make it beautiful outside, and make it very quick everywhere else. We think taking that formula and applying it to an SUV format would likely be equally as successful, given the average car buyer’s obsession with adding practicality to traditionally sports-focused brands. Either way, who can argue with 12 cylinders thumping under a well-louvered hood?

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753771

Muscle cars are actually pretty good inspiration material for a sporty SUV. The power is already there, so why not build on it with a large-and-in-charge body style? That’s exactly what’s going on with Camaro ZL1 SUV, which also tosses in the track-friendly coupe’s aero with a front splitter, lower bumper canards, and side skirts, not to mention that flat-black vented hood. The only question left to answer is what kind of times will it turn on the track…

Ferrari 488 SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753772

No doubt this one will have some of you out there crying foul, as the Prancing Horse would never, ever resort to creating an SUV, right? Right?! Not so fast there, chief. Word has it the Prancing Horse might be seriously considering exactly that, so this 488 concept might not be too far off the mark. Coming proper in corsa rosso red paint and rocking the sleek front end of its coupe sibling, this thing certainly looks the part of a Ferrari…

Honda NSX SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753774

The second-gen NSX is a fantastic piece of kit. Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 boosted by two turbos, plus no less than three electric motors, its got the right powertrain to have us watering at the mouth, while the advanced exterior aero and space-age vibe help it stand out in the segment. Ported over to crossover form, it gets a much more bubbly countenance, but as long as it still goes like stink, we’d have a hard time complaining.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.

Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.

Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748126

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i8.

BMW i5


2018 BMW i5 - image 618213

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i5.


BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter - image 730732

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.

Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.

Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748126

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i8.

BMW i5


2018 BMW i5 - image 618213

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i5.


BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter - image 730732

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8

2020 BMW i8

Launched in 2014, the i8 was on BMW’s drawing boards since the mid-2000s. First unveiled as the Vision Efficient Dynamics in 2009, it was updated to the i8 Concept in 2011, before being showcased as a production-ready prototype in 2013. In 2012, BMW also revealed a Spyder concept car. More than three years have passed since its official debut, and the i8 is already a big hit with hybrid sports car enthusiasts. Despite this, BMW has yet to offer a mid-cycle update like it did with the i3, but it’s planning to launch a drop-top, Spyder version at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Whether more oomph is on the table for the current i8 is still a mystery, but there’s a lot of buzz about a significantly more powerful next-generation model flying around for quite some time.

Given BMW’s current strategy, a brand-new i8 isn’t likely to arrive sooner than 2020, so information about the upcoming sports car is scant, to say the least. However, there have been claims that the new i8 will go fully electric and the I Vision Dynamics concept that was unveiled in 2017 likely previews the sports car’s new design. I gathered all the information available in the speculative review below, while our designer created a rendering of what the second-generation i8 might look like. Keep reading to find out all the details we have so far and stay tuned for updates on this car.

Continue reading to learn more about the second-generation BMW i8.

Exterior

  • Fresh design
  • Styling based on I Vision Dynamics concept
  • EV-style front grille
  • New lighting technology
  • Sporty coupe shape
  • Unique in the BMW lineup
  • left
    right
    “While the BMW i8 still looks fresh in 2017, this may not be the case in 2020”

    Needless to say, the current i8 is one sexy sports car design-wise. The low nose, the wide stance, and the aggressive headlamp and front grille layout make it unique in the current BMW lineup and give it a strong resemblance to the iconic M1. The side cues are equally dramatic, especially the way the line that separates the door from the side skirt goes upward to create the massive rear haunches and then blends into the taillights. The rear fascia also reminds of the BMW M1, but the i8 is more than just a rendition of the classic sports car. It’s feels modern and it’s aggressive. It’s basically a supercar design with lightweight, sports car performance.

    But while the i8 still looks fresh in 2017, this may not be the case in 2020. Sports car makers are rolling out increasingly wilder designs, so BMW will have to up the ante and come up with an even more exciting exterior. While there’s no clue as to what the new i8 might look like, I do believe that the I Vision Dynamics concept will be used as inspiration. And needless to say, it’s a fantastic resource for a brand-new sports car.


    2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept - image 731936
    “Our rendering borrows heavily from the I Vision Dynamics concept”

    Our rendering borrows heavily from the show car. Although it previews a competitor for the Tesla Model S, the I Vision Dynamics employs many styling cues that would look great on an aggressive two-door. Our designer transferred almost the entire front fascia onto the next-gen i8. The twin-kidney grille is obviously taller than any other production BMW and it stands out by missing a conventional mesh grille and for having blue highlights on the chrome trim. I think that the blue trim will become a production feature and that a grille-less twin-kidney is very likely given that the next i8 will be an all-electric car. We also borrowed most of the bumper from the concept car, but revised the openings and the side wings for better aerodynamics. The headlamps are a unique design that blend current BMW LED units with futuristic elements seen on recent concept.

    Move to the sides, and you’ll notice that our rendering retains the current i8’s shape and size. However, the angular lines are less aggressive, and the rear haunches are a bit more elegant. I think BMW will go with something similar in an effort to position the new i8 in both the high-performance and luxury market. Look for a redesigned rear end too, but nothing radical. Although the i8 may employ some features from other production BMWs — obviously with a unique touch — it should also come with active aerodynamics, such as a retractable wing and a diffuser that adapts to driving conditions.

    Interior

    • New, exclusive design
    • Added luxury features
    • Larger infotainment screen
    • Redesigned instrument cluster
    • Leather and Alcantara upholstery
    • Sports seats

    2020 BMW i8 - image 521247

    Note: current BMW i8 pictured here.

    “Some new high-end tech should also find its way inside the cabin”

    It’s really hard to tell what the next-gen i8 has in store for its customers inside the cabin, but it’s safe to say that it will sport a high-tech design with plenty of premium features. The dashboard design will be unique to this car, so don’t expect any of the styling cues seen inside the 3 Series or the X5. Now I’m not saying that the two models are a dull place to spend time in, but the current i8 plays in a far superior league, and this shouldn’t change with the new sports car.

    Some new high-end tech should also find its way into the cabin. I’m thinking bigger screens for the infotainment system and instrument cluster and a highly adjustable, sports steering wheel. Gesture control will be standard, alongside a wide range of features that will enable you to control and monitor the vehicle’s electric driverain.


    2020 BMW i8 - image 522671

    Note: current BMW i8 pictured here.

    “Expect the new i8 to come with acres of leather and Alcantara in standard trim”

    As far as materials go, expect the new i8 to come with acres of leather and Alcantara in standard trim. Aluminum and carbon-fiber will cover most of the remaining surfaces, but the latter is likely to be part of an optional, more expensive package. The leather seats should feature heavy bolstering for spirited driving, but if rumors about the drivetrain prove to be true, BMW should offer a more track oriented package with race-inspired, lightweight seats wrapped in Alcantara. Despite the i8 being a full-fledged sports car, it will have many of the amenities found in larger luxury BMWs, including air-conditioning, heating, a premium sound system, and the latest in terms of connectivity and Wi-Fi.

    The new i8 should also include a range of cabin features made from renewable materials — to showcase the company’s efforts toward a more sustainable future — as well as some industry-first technologies. But we will find out more about that closer to launch.

    Drivetrain

    • All-electric drivetrain
    • Three electric motors
    • Around 750 horsepower
    • All-wheel-drive
    • Rear-axle steering
    • Active suspension system

    2020 BMW i8 - image 518243

    Note: Drivetrain of the current BMW i8 pictured here.

    “While the current i8 gets its juice from a gasoline-electric drivetrain, the next-gen car will use electricity only”

    This is where it gets very interesting. While the current i8 gets its juice from a gasoline-electric drivetrain, the next-gen car will use electricity only. This rumor has been flying around for more than a year now and, while there’s no official confirmation, it makes sense given that BMW wants to roll out electric cars in the next decade. The change will be quite dramatic.

    The German sports features quite a peculiar drivetrain, bringing together a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and two electric motors. I say “peculiar” because three-cylinder engines are far from common. Granted, the three-pot is no slouch at 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, but it’s not the kind of output that puts “sports” ahead of “car.” But thanks to the electric motors strapped to the front and rear axles, total output sits at a more appealing 357 horses and 420 pound-feet.

    “Each motor will reportedly crank out well in excess of 250 horsepower, with total output to sit at a whopping 750 horses”

    Granted, those aren’t supercar figures, but at only 3,300 pounds, the i8 is quite agile. Hitting 60 mph from a standing start takes four seconds, while top speed is governed at 155 mph. As our own Mark McNabb pointed out in his driven review, the i8 needs a bit more oomph, and the main reason why I agree is that a sports car of this caliber should be quicker than the BMW M4. And the i8 isn’t. But this will change with the next-generation model.

    For the new i8, BMW will drop the gasoline engine and will add a third electronic. Actually, it will add three brand-new electric motors that will draw juice from a significantly larger battery. Each motor will reportedly crank out well in excess of 250 horsepower, with total output to sit at a whopping 750 horses. That’s more than double the oomph you get with the current i8! No word on torque yet, but knowing how much pound-feet electric motors are capable of, it’s safe to assume that the i8 could get closer to 1,000.


    2020 BMW i8 - image 745538
    “The i8 will also get rear-axle steering and an active suspension system”

    The new drivetrain layout will put two motors on the rear axle and one up front, which will make the i8 all-whee-drive. On top of that, the i8 will also get rear-axle steering, a feature that’s already available in some Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini sports cars. Torque vectoring and a new active suspension system are also on the table. So not only will it be significantly quicker — expect a 0-to-60 sprint of less than three seconds — it will also perform better at the track. New Nurburgring record for electric cars, anyone?

    But what about range? Reports say that the new drivetrain and larger battery will enable the i8 to return 300 miles per charge. That would represent a 10-mile drop compared to the current hybrid drivetrain, but it’s a solid figure for a fully electric car. For reference, the current i8 runs for only 15 miles on electricity alone according to the EPA. In Europe, it’s rated at 23 miles.

    Current BMW i8 2020 BMW i8
    Gasoline Engine BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-Liter Three-Cylinder
    Electric Motor Hybrid synchronous motor with power Three electric motors
    Total Output 362 horsepower 750 HP
    Total Torque 420 Pound-Feet 1,000 LB-FT
    Transmission Six-Speed Automatic
    Acceleration (0-60 mph) 4.2 Sec., Est 3 seconds
    Top Speed 155 MPH 200 mph
    Total Range 310 Miles (372 Miles w/ ECO PRO) 300 miles

    Prices


    2020 BMW i8 - image 745539

    The current i8 is the second most expensive BMW on offer as of 2017. Priced from $143,400, it’s superseded only by the M760i, which costs $156,700 before options. Add the available packages and options to the i8, and the sticker jumps to $152,344. Far from affordable, but the new second-generation sports car will be much more expensive. The new technology, the new platform, and the all-electric drivetrain will add to the final cost of the car, which could move closer to the $200,000 mark.

    Competition

    The electric supercar car market is rather slim as of 2017, but with more and more automakers jumping on the bandwagon, this segment will be far more populated a few years from now. Due to its hybrid nature, the current i8 competes against the Acura NSX, but this will change when the all-electric version arrives. The Nio EP9 looks to be a good proposition, but the Chinese EV is set to be manufactured in limited numbers, and it could be discontinued soon. Same goes for the Rimac Concept_One, but automakers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi (the Germans recently discontinued the R8 e-tron), and Porsche could launch their own competitors for the i8 in a few years.

    Nio EP9


    You Won't Believe Which Autonomous Car is the Fastest in the World - image 707013

    The EP9 hit the market out of the blue. It’s designed by recently founded Chinese company NextEV, boasts a tremendous amount of power, and lapped the Nurburgring track quicker than any other production car, breaking a record that stood strong since 2009. Design-wide, the Nio EP9 is a full-fledged supercar and looks as if it was designed for the prototype class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Power comes from four separate electric motors, each creating in excess of 300 horsepower. Total output is rated at 1,341, which is far more impressive than the next-generation BMW i8, but it’s worth mentioning that the EP9 is also significantly heavier at 3,825 pounds. The sprint to 60 mph takes 2.7, which is as quick as it gets, but the i8 should come close thanks to its tremendous power-to-weight ratio. The EP9 is also likely to win the top speed battle at 195 mph, but it won’t be able to match the Bimmer’s range at 265 miles per charge. The Chinese EV is also ridiculously expensive, coming in at around $1.2 million before options.

    Conclusion


    2020 BMW i8 - image 744860

    When we drove the BMW i8 back in August 2017, we were impressed by its looks, high-end technology, and solid drivetrain figures. But we also discovered that it was rather uncomfortable getting in and out of the cabin and that it also lacked the luxuries found in the big BMW sedans. But the next-generation model should fix that, as BMW now has all the information it needs to provide a sports car that’s attractive in just about any department. And with a more powerful drivetrain that’s also green and provides a solid range, the i8 should become an even more successful vehicle. Despite having an exorbitant price tag.

    • Leave it
      • Likely expensive price tag
      • Not yet confirmed for production

    References

    BMW i8


    2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

    Read our full review on the current BMW i8.


    BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter - image 730734

    Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.


    2017 BMW i8 – Driven - image 732595

    Read our full driven review on the 2017 BMW i8.


    2018 BMW i8 Spyder - image 716249

    Read our full speculative review on the 2018 BMW i8 Spyder.

    PostHeaderIcon Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups

    BMW i8 Dodge Charger

    Halloween may have come and gone, but it’s never too late to explore the weird, the bizarre, and the downright frightening things that go bump in the night. If you’ve got the nerve, then we challenge you to look through these utterly profane vehicle renderings, courtesy of the good folks from Click Mechanic. Truth be told, no one is safe from the following strange creations – hybrids, muscle cars, imports, supercars, trucks, and even tractors get tossed into the blender with these seven unholy car mashups.

    Call it madness, call it lunacy, call it outlandish… truth be told, we simply can’t look away! Hell, we’d actually argue that some of these creations are a bit, well, awesome (no, seriously). Either way, this is what happens when you give rendering artists free reign to mix and match from across the automotive spectrum. Naturally, we wanna know – which is these shocking mashups stands out the most to you? Let us know in the comments!

    Continue reading to see 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups.

    BMW i8 and Dodge Charger


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743946

    Kicking things off, we got two wildly different takes on what it means to be fast. On one side, we’ve got the hybrid-powered BMW i8, a cutting-edge, CFRP-laden spaceship, while on the other side, we’ve got the old school muscle legend that is the Dodge Charger. I guess this is what happens when you put them together, complete with laser headlights and topped by a massive blower. It’s like a sustainable flamethrower, or an eco-conscious chainsaw. Wait, what?!

    Bugatti Chiron and Volkswagen Beetle


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743947

    Originally created as a vehicle for the people, the VW bug was about simplicity and low cost, offered as a modest approach to moving from A to B. Then we have the 1,500-horsepower, ultra-complex, quad-turbo Bugatti Chiron, a rolling statement of wealth and prestige that screams for attention. Talk about opposites, and yet, the pieces seem to fit together quite nicely here…

    Pagani Huayra and First-Generation Chevrolet Camaro


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743948

    Now this one is just flat out weird. We never, in a million billion years, would have thought about infusing the gorgeous top-shelf Italian styling of the Pagani Huayra with the good-old-boy chic of the original Chevy Camaro. This thing is an abomination, no doubt about it, and yet, we can’t look away. The flat black paint, the chrome trim, the mid-engine proportions, the polished hubcaps… would you call us crazy if we admitted to thinking this thing actually, kinda… works?! Yes, you would? Fair enough.

    Nissan GT-R And Nissan Juke


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743949

    If you ask us, this is the kind of machine that would manage to simultaneously make your little niece squeal with delight over its cuteness, then go off and rip your dedicated sports car to shreds on the track. The body shape says Juke, while that front end and rear wing are pure GT-R. Maybe we shouldn’t give Nissan any ideas – after all, the 485-horse Juke-R is already a thing, so we know this mashup isn’t a total impossibility.

    Ford GT and Ford Raptor


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743950

    We know the Blue Oval has a variety of vehicles at its disposal when it comes to going fast. Wanna smash the local lap record? Climb aboard the Ford GT, a carbon fiber supercar made for domination at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What about flying over rough terrain? In that case, saddle up in the Ford Raptor, an off-road specialist ready to conquer the rough stuff and all of Mother Nature. But what if you wanna do both?

    Lamborghini Aventador and Lamborghini Tractor


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743951

    Believe it or not, Lambo was originally a manufacturer of farm equipment before it branched off into making high-dollar exotics. In fact, the Italian marque is still making tractors today as Lamborghini Trattori. So then, the above is what you get when you do a little inter-company cross-pollination. All we see is the perfect conveyance for ripping mean four-wheel drifts across freshly plowed fields.

    Ferrari LaFerrari and Fiat Multipla


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743952

    Take the jaw-dropping body of the Ferrari squared, then plop a dollop of Fiat MPV in the middle, and this is the result. Yikes. At least it’s one of the more, eh, practical Prancing Horses we’ve seen. Right? Maybe?!

    PostHeaderIcon Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups

    BMW i8 Dodge Charger

    Halloween may have come and gone, but it’s never too late to explore the weird, the bizarre, and the downright frightening things that go bump in the night. If you’ve got the nerve, then we challenge you to look through these utterly profane vehicle renderings, courtesy of the good folks from Click Mechanic. Truth be told, no one is safe from the following strange creations – hybrids, muscle cars, imports, supercars, trucks, and even tractors get tossed into the blender with these seven unholy car mashups.

    Call it madness, call it lunacy, call it outlandish… truth be told, we simply can’t look away! Hell, we’d actually argue that some of these creations are a bit, well, awesome (no, seriously). Either way, this is what happens when you give rendering artists free reign to mix and match from across the automotive spectrum. Naturally, we wanna know – which is these shocking mashups stands out the most to you? Let us know in the comments!

    Continue reading to see 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups.

    BMW i8 and Dodge Charger


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743946

    Kicking things off, we got two wildly different takes on what it means to be fast. On one side, we’ve got the hybrid-powered BMW i8, a cutting-edge, CFRP-laden spaceship, while on the other side, we’ve got the old school muscle legend that is the Dodge Charger. I guess this is what happens when you put them together, complete with laser headlights and topped by a massive blower. It’s like a sustainable flamethrower, or an eco-conscious chainsaw. Wait, what?!

    Bugatti Chiron and Volkswagen Beetle


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743947

    Originally created as a vehicle for the people, the VW bug was about simplicity and low cost, offered as a modest approach to moving from A to B. Then we have the 1,500-horsepower, ultra-complex, quad-turbo Bugatti Chiron, a rolling statement of wealth and prestige that screams for attention. Talk about opposites, and yet, the pieces seem to fit together quite nicely here…

    Pagani Huayra and First-Generation Chevrolet Camaro


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743948

    Now this one is just flat out weird. We never, in a million billion years, would have thought about infusing the gorgeous top-shelf Italian styling of the Pagani Huayra with the good-old-boy chic of the original Chevy Camaro. This thing is an abomination, no doubt about it, and yet, we can’t look away. The flat black paint, the chrome trim, the mid-engine proportions, the polished hubcaps… would you call us crazy if we admitted to thinking this thing actually, kinda… works?! Yes, you would? Fair enough.

    Nissan GT-R And Nissan Juke


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743949

    If you ask us, this is the kind of machine that would manage to simultaneously make your little niece squeal with delight over its cuteness, then go off and rip your dedicated sports car to shreds on the track. The body shape says Juke, while that front end and rear wing are pure GT-R. Maybe we shouldn’t give Nissan any ideas – after all, the 485-horse Juke-R is already a thing, so we know this mashup isn’t a total impossibility.

    Ford GT and Ford Raptor


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743950

    We know the Blue Oval has a variety of vehicles at its disposal when it comes to going fast. Wanna smash the local lap record? Climb aboard the Ford GT, a carbon fiber supercar made for domination at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What about flying over rough terrain? In that case, saddle up in the Ford Raptor, an off-road specialist ready to conquer the rough stuff and all of Mother Nature. But what if you wanna do both?

    Lamborghini Aventador and Lamborghini Tractor


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743951

    Believe it or not, Lambo was originally a manufacturer of farm equipment before it branched off into making high-dollar exotics. In fact, the Italian marque is still making tractors today as Lamborghini Trattori. So then, the above is what you get when you do a little inter-company cross-pollination. All we see is the perfect conveyance for ripping mean four-wheel drifts across freshly plowed fields.

    Ferrari LaFerrari and Fiat Multipla


    Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups - image 743952

    Take the jaw-dropping body of the Ferrari squared, then plop a dollop of Fiat MPV in the middle, and this is the result. Yikes. At least it’s one of the more, eh, practical Prancing Horses we’ve seen. Right? Maybe?!

    PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 – Driven

    The BMW i8 has been around since the 2015 model year, but I’ve just recently had the chance to get behind the wheel. In fact, I had an entire week to play with it, driving it to mundane places like the grocery store and the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school. As you might imagine, the i8 garnered plenty of attention wherever it went. And why not? It’s the sexiest machine in BMW’s current lineup and just as exotic as anything from Lamborghini or Ferrari. Yet under its Sophisto Grey paint and carbon fiber reinforced plastic body lies some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced drivetrain components this side of Doc Brown’s DMC DeLorean and its Mr. Fusion nuclear reactor.

    The i8, along with its less athletically inclined brother, the i3, are the current members of BMW’s i Division. As BMW’s M Division is committed to high performance vehicles, the i Division is all about electrification. For the time being, the i Division has concentrated on gasoline-electric hybrids, combining the best of both worlds into an amalgamation of efficiency and sportiness while limiting the amount of gasoline needed. Holistically, the BMW i8 lives up to its hype, delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, an EPA-estimated 76 MPGe, and a combined rating of 28 mpg when the gasoline three-cylinder kicks on. But like most cutting-edge technology and exotic supercars, the everyday experience can be a bit compromised and challenging.

    Continue reading for the full review of the 2017 BMW i8.

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