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BMW’s unique combo of speed and eco-cred

Our Bureau | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on February 19, 2015

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The ‘shocking’, plug-in sportscar is finally here



If you think that the ₹2.29 crore price tag for the new BMW i8 is a rather extraordinary one, well then it is because the car is rather astonishing too. How many plug-in hybrids do we actually know of, that shoot off from a standstill to a 100kmph in 4.4 seconds, boast of a 250kmph top speed, and yet much more friendly to the polar bear than most exotic sets of four wheels?

So what exactly is the i8? This Bimmer is powered by a combination of an electric motor and a petrol engine. The front axle is turned by an electric drive, which is powered by a 96 kW (131 hp) lithium-ion battery. The rear axle, on the other hand is driven by BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 170 kW (231 hp) of peak performance. The two units deliver a combined peak power of 362 hp, using all four wheels in the process. According to the company, the four-wheel drive system in the BMW i8 can deploy the power reserves through all four wheels for added traction and control. The high-torque from the electric motor is combined with the petrol engine’s performance, and delivered to the wheels via a specially modified six-speed Steptronic transmission. At any time, in any gear, the transmission collaborates perfectly with the engine, enabling it to develop its full power and efficiency.

The i8 offers five different driving modes to the driver – the ‘D’ transmission setting in Comfort and Eco Pro mode, the Sport mode and the eDrive mode for all-electric driving (with a choice of Comfort or Eco Pro). The Intelligent Energy Management and the driving modes optimise the energy use of both power sources.

Wile running solely on battery power, the i8 can achieve a top speed of 120 kmph, with a range of up to 35 kilometres. With the petrol engine also in use, the car can do speeds of up to 250 kmph, driving range can be extended up to 600 kilometres. The i8 has a CO2 emission of 50.36 g/km, and can return a mileage of 47.45 kmpl. The battery can be charged from almost any mains socket that has an output of 220 volts, in less than 2.5 hours. On the inside, the hybrid sportscar features BMW ConnectedDrive solutions, which includes the next generation of BMW iDrive – the on-board Driver Information System. These systems include touch controls and handwriting recognition, BMW Navigation Professional (integrated Global Positioning System – GPS) with an 8.8-inch colour display, 3D maps, full-colour BMW Head-Up Display and Bluetooth and USB connectivity for the Harman Kardon Surround Sound system.

Published on February 19, 2015
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