The words supercar and frugal are never mentioned in the same sentence; it is a fact that power is equally proportional to big brawny petrol drinking engines that emit carbon while cruising at 200 km/hr. However revolutionizing the concept of power and performance in a supercar, BMW has launched the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car at the 2014 Auto Expo in Delhi today. One of the most significant launches (as far as technology goes) of the entire show, the sports car provides high power and higher mileage for those who want to save the planet but do not want to compromise on power.
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid started life as the i8 concept and has brought together supercar like power and electric car’s frugality which seemed like a mission impossible at one time. The i8 is genuinely a piece of art with the typical BMW kidney grille gracing the front facia, while the angular headlamps give it that aggressive stance. The i8 has been designed to enhance the aerodynamics of the car to provide added power and fuel economy.
BMW has maintained the supercar design keeping it low slung with sporty alloys and scissor doors. The futuristic sporty design continues at the rear as well with the inverted tail lamps and an angular bumper. BMW has given blue inserts throughout the car to remind you that it is a hybrid that is going at breakneck speeds. Moving on to the interiors, it is like the cockpit of a space shuttle right out of Star Trek. The blue inserts continue on the inside as well with the dashboard and centre console tilted towards the driver providing a plethora of high tech gadgetry all from the future.
Coming to the power-rain on the i8; it is here that the sportscar plays a master stroke. The BMW i8 is powered by a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine coupled to a synchronous electric motor developing a combined power of 362 PS and 570 Nm of peak torque. The petrol motor alone makes 131 HP of power and 250 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels. The i8’s engine channels power to the front wheels while the electric motor puts power down through the rear wheels working together to provide that breathtaking performance.
Nought to hundred comes up in a staggering 4.4 seconds, while the car has been electronically limited to 250 km/hr. Here comes the best part, all that performance is easy on the pocket as well with the claimed mileage of 48 km/l and a total range of 500 kms.
You also get the super cool i8 key fob comprising of a display screen that gives you the required information about the vehicle before starting up. The key will tell you the percentage charge remaining on your car, travel range, fuel level, time, apart from the locking and boot opening functions.
So if you don’t want to feel guilty of polluting the environment or just want power with frugality and have around Rs. 2 crores to dispense around you, the i8 is your dream machine. With the phenomenal response the i8 has received globally, BMW has allotted only 10 cars this year to India and we expect all to be sold out with in no time.