Taking Sustainable Driving to a New Level
The BMW i8 has been the poster child for the sports car of the future since it was launched 2014. With its futuristic design, this 2+2-seater remains a true object of desire and a technological pioneer, making it the world’s highest-selling hybrid sports car. Recently released in South Africa, the new BMW i8 Coupe and the dashing new BMW i8 Roadster take the allure of sustainable driving pleasure and sports car performance to a new dimension.
The new BMW i8 is powered by a drive duo in the form of a hybrid synchronous electric motor and a 3-cylinder petrol engine with BMW Twinpower Turbo technology. The engine’s power is channelled to the rear wheels through a six-speed Steptronic transmission, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The end result is an all-wheel-drive system that glues the car to the road.
The gross energy capacity of the lithiumion battery has been increased from 7.1 to 11.6-kilowatt-hours (kwh), which increases the electric motor’s peak output by 9 kw to 105 kw. With maximum torque of 250 Nm from rest, the BMW i8 delivers razor-sharp responses to the slightest movement of the accelerator and exceptionally smooth acceleration in electric mode. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 105 km/h purely on the electric motor’s power, the BMW i8 allows for a zero emissions drive not just in town, but on country roads as well. And at the push of the edrive button, the allelectric threshold is increased further to 120 km/h. The new battery also benefits the electric range of the two plug-in hybrid sports cars, with the i8 Coupé capable of up to 55 km on electric power only, and the i8 Roadster up to 53 km.
The turbocharged 3-cylinder engine delivers a maximum output of 170 kw from its displacement of just 1.5 litres, plus peak torque of 320 Nm. The engine is pleasantly refined and generates a distinctive and sonorous soundtrack that now has an even sportier note when its power reserves are called upon.
The system output produced by the electric motor and engine acting in unison has increased to 275 kw, and with a total of 570 Nm of torque on hand, the new BMW i8 Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, while the new BMW i8 Roadster takes a tick longer with a time of 4.6 seconds. Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
Both models return fuel consumption and emissions figures that undercut those for conventionally powered sports cars with similar outputs by around 50%.
The new BMW i8 Roadster comes with an all-season fabric soft-top with additional soundproofing, and can be opened or closed in an almost silent hush, within 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 50 km/h, if required.
Ground breaking lightweight construction, sleek aerodynamics, and avant-garde design, combined with BMW’S latest technological features, make the BMW i8 an instant classic as it continues its trailblazing leap towards a sustainable future.
BMW i8 Coupe: R 2,095,200 BMW i8 Roadster: R 2,329,300