The announcement of BMW just comes coincidental with the announcement of Ferrari that ti will debut the hybrid Enzo by 2013. The Italian made ride though will sport a bigger V12 engine paired with an electric motor than the upcoming BMW i8. And with all these green cars coming from the big names of the car world, we know that they are here to stay.
It might even just be a while before the segment of the supercars will be dominated by the super electric vehicles, and the hybrids we are hearing right now is a good indication that supercar manufacturers are heading towards that direction. The carmakers might also realize that their high performance vehicles like the Corvette, Mustang, or Camaro can take in hybrid trains without sacrificing performance.
The production version of the i8 will be almost identical as its concept sibling. It will have features like the pop-up doors and the works. The 1..3 petrol engine will have an output of 22 bhp with a torque of 221 lb-ft while the front wheels will have an electric motor that gives out 170 bhp. Imagine this setup with the i8 capable of being a purely electric car when it uses the front wheels, a RWD gas vehicle, or an AWD hybrid car. The engine will also be paired to a 4-speed gearbox.
The performance of the i8 is far from a Prius. This beast is fast. The 0 to 60 mph zoom will take less than 5 seconds. The top speed is expected to be at 159 mph. More specs about this 393 HP combined setup can be expected as the launch comes near.
The i8 can go for 20 miles in just pure electric mode which is close to the range of the Volt of Chevrolet at 30 miles max. The number is quite good for a performance vehicle. Crunching the numbers, the i8 can go for 94 miles on a gallon of fuel which will be almost double than what Prius can do.
The downside of this story though is that there will be no M version for the i8. Another problem is that the price tag may go as high as $132, 600. Luckily the prices for second hand BMW cars on Gumtree is usually a lot lower for people wanting to go for the second hand option. Then it should be a waiting game. The numbers are for max and without the electric motors, you will only depend on the 1.3L engine, and surely that cannot give you the sub 5-second rush to 60mph.