SPIED! BMW i8
SPOTTED: Toned down but still radical in design, a near production ready version of BMW's new plug-in hybrid i8 was spotted by our spy photographers.
In March 2011 our spy-photographers caught BMW's Vision EfficientDynamics concept car, debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, dashing through the snow in Sweden during cold-weather testing.
Now we’ve managed to capture images of the production version of BMW’s new i8. The plug-in hybrid will be the Bavarian automaker's flagship under the new “i” sub-brand.
In terms of design the near production ready model is understandably toned down. At the front BMW opted for a more sedate design more akin to the new 6 Series and loses the chunky grille of the concept model.
The rear is more traditional, though the radical sloping “diffusers” are still in place. Along the side you’ll not the transparent doors are also missing as well as the bizarre side mirror placement shown in the concept.
The production i8 is said to seat four and its hybrid engine can rocket from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. It may be a green friendly ride but it carries a supercar price tag at R1.5m.
Rumour has it that BMW will forgo the frugal diesel engine of the concept model, in favour of a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit to work in coordination with a hybrid system.
Shrugging its diesel engine could mean the i8 will be gearing towards a petrol engine that would, subsequently, be more powerful.
Check out the new i8!