Over the past several years, its no secret that major automobile manufacturers were starting to see the potential of electric motors. Maybe not to the point where it will replace the combustion engine completely but at the very least as an accompaniment to make their fleet of vehicles more efficient.
This is perfectly demonstrated by the BMW Group’s commitment to hybrid technology where in 2017 they delivered over 100,000 electrified vehicles worldwide. Today, year-to-date sales of electrified BMW and MINI vehicles totalled over 71,000, with a 40.6% increase compared to the same period last year which puts them on track to sell over 140,000 electrified vehicles in 2018.
Although most of these electrified vehicles were centred on making daily drives more efficient there’s one BMW hybrid line that was designed specifically for driving performance and that is the BMW i8.
BMW i8 Coupé
The i8 was first launched in 2014 and at the time took the electric mobility concept and totally redefined the sports car. This year, BMW brought us an update of that game-changer with the New BMW i8 Coupé. The i8 Coupé still retains the engine that has won four consecutive International Engine of the Year Award since 2015 for combining its three-cylinder combustion engine and electric motor in a most innovatively efficient manner. However where previously the car had a 20Ah battery, the new i8 comes with a 33 Ah battery capable of increasing the motor output from 9kW to 105kW and even extending the electric range to 55km.
Now combine this with the three-cylinder combustion engine and you get a fantastic ride that has 374 hp and can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds.
Additionally, the new i8 also comes with a LifeDrive vehicle architecture which offers a horizontally split structure comprising an aluminium chassis and a carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) passenger cell to offer an exceptional degree of design freedom.
Continuing this advancement of technology is the new BMW Connected feature which links the car to a Remote App on a smartphone. This allows owners to check and control their cars current charge status, the range and departure time to ensure the vehicle is charged for the next trip.
BMW i8 Roadster
If you’re not quite feeling the 2+2 seats of the Coupé, the first ever BMW i8 Roadster was just introduced two months ago. It offers essentially the same power infrastructure of the i8 Coupe but has been fitted with a soft-top which opens and closes quietly in 15 seconds (can be performed travelling up to 50 km/h) and newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminium outer shell, while the windscreen frame is made entirely from CFRP.