BMW i8 (2014–)
- September 2011: BMW reveals i8 Concept
- April 2012: BMW i8 Spyder Concept unveiled
- May 2013: BMW reveals BMW i network
- March 2014: New i8 to make UK debut
- February 2015: Voted UK Car of the Year 2015
- February 2016: BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition announced
- November 2017: Mid life revamp of BMW i8 sees introduction of i8 Roadster
- March 2019: BMW i8 Coupé
- BMW i8 Roadster
- December 2019
- January 2020
BMW reveals i8 Concept
The BMW i8 Concept was presented as a member of the latest generation sports cars: progressive, intelligent and innovative. Its unique plug-in hybrid design combines an internal combustion engine and an electric drive, resulting in an exceptional driving experience – with extremely low fuel consumption and emissions.
BMW i8 Spyder Concept unveiled
Although closely related to the original i8 Concept, the new i8 Concept Spyder is strictly a two-seater, with a shorter wheelbase and new, upward swivelling, windowless doors. It also features a fresh interpretation of the i8’s interior design, and additional on-board equipment including a pair of electric scooters, housed under a transparent tailgate.
Underneath the athletic and futuristic exterior skin, the i8 Concept Spyder is as advanced as its Coupé relation, built, once again, around the innovative LifeDrive architecture and underpinned by lightweight, modular construction.
A further example of the LifeDrive concept is the housing of the car’s lithium ion batteries in an ‘energy tunnel’ that joins the front and rear axles, thereby maintaining a low centre of gravity and ensuring BMW’s trademark 50:50 weight distribution.
The driver has three screens from which to access information: the twin ellipses of the instrument cluster, the central information display and the climate display. The cluster has a digital speedometer and an efficiency display, giving information on how much energy the driver is currently using or recuperating, as well as navigation details and fuel range. In the ECO PRO mode that maximises efficiency this ellipse turns blue: in SPORT mode it glows orange.
The 8.8-inch central screen displays a wide range of information from the status of the hybrid system to navigational data and connectivity functions. This is particularly important given the advanced suite of driver assistance systems found in the new i8 Concept Spyder, such as the camera-based proactive collision warning feature, park assistant and traffic jam assistant. By using a smart phone, the driver can find where his vehicle is parked with CarFinder; show nearby charging stations; allow batteries to be charged at pre-determined times and stay informed of the vehicle’s status. Even the interior can be pre-warmed on a cold morning.
A plug-in hybrid, the i8 Concept Spyder is powered by an eDrive drivetrain combining a high performance electric motor with a turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol engine. The lithium Ion batteries are stowed centrally for the benefit of weight distribution, and can be charged quickly from a domestic power socket. The i8 Concept Spyder uses a 131hp electric motor to power the front axle, and a 223hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine to power the rear axle. Both have been developed in-house by BMW. With its lightweight construction the combined power output of 354hp propels the Spyder from zero to 62mph in just 5.0 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, yet delivers an outstanding combined fuel consumption of 94mpg.
The electric motor gets its energy from the car’s lithium ion batteries and can be fully charged via a domestic plug socket in under two hours. The Spyder has a range of 19 miles running on electric power alone, while a high voltage generator hooked up to the combustion engine can generate additional power if needed and store it in the battery. Due to the arrangement of the power sources, the Spyder can run in front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, the vehicle’s electronics deciding on the optimum configuration depending on the situation.
BMW reveals BMW i network
From launch, 46 sales agents across the UK will offer the BMW i range. Each will have specialist technical capabilities allowing them to carry out repairs to the vehicles’ high voltage batteries. A wider service network is planned to offer extended coverage for the general service, maintenance and repair of BMW i vehicles.
As well as the vehicles themselves, BMW i will encompass a range of premium services for mobility aimed at optimising the use of parking spaces, recharging infrastructure, ‘smart’ navigation systems, intermodal route planning and access to other BMW vehicles on an ‘on-demand’ basis.
New i8 to make UK debut
BMW’s most advanced sport car ever, the new BMW i8, was seen in action for the first time in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014. The BMW i8 went up the famous 1.16 mile course, showcasing the searing acceleration of the new plug-in hybrid sport car. The delivery of the first customer i8s will start in June 2014, while the introduction of optional BMW laser headlights for the BMW i8 is scheduled for autumn 2014. The BMW i8 will be the world’s first production car to offer this innovative lighting technology.
Voted UK Car of the Year 2015
BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition announced
Available for a limited period only, the new special edition BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition puts a new angle on the immediately recognisable BMW i model. The paintwork, created exclusively for this sports car comes in a Protonic Red finish with Frozen Grey metallic accents. The colour scheme is complemented by BMW W-spoke 470 light-alloy wheels painted in Orbit Grey metallic with hubs painted in Aluminium matt and mixed-size tyres (front: 215 R20, rear: 245/40).
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BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition
Mid life revamp of BMW i8 sees introduction of i8 Roadster
The Roadster is joined in showrooms by the mid-life update of the i8 Coupé.
The i8 Roadster benefits from lightweight construction, complete with a low centre of gravity and even weight distribution. The aerodynamic exterior – with model-specific dihedral doors – is a fine exponent of the signature BMW i design language.
Passengers inside the i8 Roadster will look up to find either the open sky or a high-quality, all-season fabric soft-top with high-level soundproofing. All-electric operation ensures the roof opens or closes in an almost silent hush, within 16 seconds and while travelling at up to 31mph.
The i8 Roadster is unique in offering a fabric soft-top which stows into a perpendicular position in the rear when opened, therefore taking up very little space. The three segments of the roof fold vertically in a Z-shape, leaving an additional 100 litres of storage space between the roof box and the seats, on top of the 88 litres of cargo space in the rear compartment.
Opening the roof raises the rear window automatically by around 30mm, reducing air turbulence inside the cabin and ensuring passengers can enjoy the pleasure of open-top driving with minimal disturbance. The driver can adjust the height of the window at the touch of a button and control airflow as desired.
BMW i8 Coupé
Fuel consumption combined: 1.8 l/100 km; Electric power consumption combined: 14,0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 42 g/km
BMW i8 Roadster
Fuel consumption combined: 2.0 l/100 km; Electric power consumption combined: 14.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 46 g/km
Latest fuel and emissions figures for BMW i8 Coupe combined fuel consumption 1.8 l/100 km (157mpg); combined power consumption 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO 2 emissions 42 g/km. And for BMW i8 Roadster combined fuel consumption 2.0 l/100 km (141mpg); combined power consumption 14.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO 2 emissions 46 g/km (unchanged).
BMW i8 discontinued from April 2020.