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BMW i8 - Ten things you should know

  • Jul 02, 2018
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It was in 2013 when BMW showcased the production-ready model of the i8 at the International Motor Show in Germany. It’s been five years now, and the i8 is just doing fine in various international markets. Being the second car under the BMW i brand, the i8 was an important product for the German car maker. Here are ten things that you should know about the i8.


1- Purposeful design


BMW i8 Exterior


All of the design elements of the i8 serve a purpose, i.e., to reduce the drag. The aerodynamic efficiency of a car has a huge effect on its performance, handling, and fuel economy. BMW made sure that the i8 has got a very low coefficient of drag.


The exterior design of the BMW i8 is very aerodynamic in nature. For example, the bonnet or the hood is very sleek, the air ducts or air passages that reside between the brake lights and the roof frame allow easy flow of air, the underbody is completely sealed off. It’s the result of these extraordinary features, that the i8 has a coefficient of drag of 0.26.


2- Electric motor has 2-speed automatic transmission


Electric cars or electric motors usually don’t have a transmission. The power and torque are delivered instantly without a lag and shoots the car forward. However, the electric motor of the BMW i8 has got a 2-speed automatic transmission that switches depending on the vehicle speed.


BMW i8 Headlight


3- Light scissor doors


The scissor doors of the BMW i8 enhances the overall sporty character of the car. However, BMW did a lot of research and brainstorming to even make these as light as possible. The doors are built in two pieces. The outer layer is made up of aluminium, and the inner one is of carbon fibre reinforced plastic. This structure and composition allowed BMW to reduce the weight of the doors by 50% when compared to conventional scissor doors.


BMW i8 Wheels


4- Brake force display


The brake lights of the i8 are one of the most striking features of the car. They are more sophisticated than they look. The i8 comes with a feature called 'Brake Force Display'. It controls the illuminance of the brake lights depending on the pressure being applied to the brake pedal.


When less pressure is applied, only the top LEDs light up, and in case of more pressure, all the lights are illuminated.


5- Pedestrian protection


When i8 is being driven in full electric mode, it hardly produces any driving noises. So, BMW incorporated the Pedestrian Protection feature. With this feature, a few speakers broadcast driving noise to the outside of the car to help the pedestrians beware of an approaching vehicle. This system only works up to a speed limit of 32 km/h.


BMW i8 rear


6- First 3-cylinder engine in a production-BMW


The i8 is the first production-car in which BMW has used a 3-cylinder engine. BMW has worked tirelessly to balance it out, therefore, there are very minimal vibrations in this engine. It’s a 1.5-litre, turbocharged unit that produces 231 hp of power and 320 Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.


7- Epic performance


Combining the power and torque figures of the petrol engine and the electric motor, the i8 has a total of 362 horsepower and a whopping 570 Nm of torque. These are more than sufficient to take the i8 from 0 to 100 kmph in a mere 4.4 seconds. The top speed of the i8 is electronically limited to 250 kmph.


BMW i8 Interior


8- Range of electric motor


BMW i8 is capable to cover 37 km when driven in all-electric mode or the eDrive mode.


9- Driving Modes


There are four driving modes in the i8 - eDrive, Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro. All these modes change the way the power and torque are delivered to the wheels as per their titles so that you can extract the max from your i8.


10- No room for rear passengers


Since the BMW i8 is a hybrid sports car, comfort naturally took a hit in BMW’s priority list. The front two occupants wouldn’t have to cuss about anything much, but the rear passengers would definitely feel claustrophobic.

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