BMW has officially unveiled the BMW i8, slightly ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show that kicked off today. The hybrid sportscar is a two + two coupe with doors that go up and futuristic design cues that will be sure to turn heads. Power comes from a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine that cranks out 231 horses and 236 lb-ft. of torque which is then mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Add in the electric motor and you get an additional 131 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque through a two-speed automatic to the front wheels. That’s all-wheel drive motion with 362 horses and 320 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-62 time of 4.4 seconds. Fuel economy figures are impressive as well with 94 miles per gallon and a full charge coming from a 110-volt outlet in less than four hours. BMW Charging Stations can bring that time down to 1.5 hours.
BMW unveiled the i8 Concept a short while back and now they’ve released shots of the i8 Spyder, one that looks more like what we can expect from the final car that will hit showrooms in the not-too-distant future. It’s a plug-in hybrid that’s powered by a 96 kW (131 horsepower) electric motor powering the front axle and a mid-mounted turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine that cranks out 223 horses to power the rear. Lithium-ion batteries are located in a center console between the front and mid-mounted engines to give a full output of 354 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque.
The i8 Spyder can go 19 miles before the gas engine turns on to recharge the batteries and we’re hearing the system can go 94 miles per gallon on the Imperial cycle. It’s a hybrid supercar that also gives us some exceptional performance — 0-62 mph in five seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.