Upcoming New Cars
When to expect:December 2014
Estimated Price:1.55 2.20 crores
BMW stunned the world in early 2011 when it announced the i division for hybrid cars and electric vehicles. The first car to come out of this development was the i3 pure electric car and then the i8 hybrid. During the 2014 Auto Expo, BMW under the auspices of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar unveiled the i8 plug in hybrid for the Indian market and announced that the car would be launched for India by the end of the year.
The external design of the BMW i8 harks back to that of the 8 Series range of cars that were sold in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This design is characterised by low slung body style, large hood and stubby back, something that the i8 has managed to embody and yet, still look modern as possible.The front is dominated by a colourful and rather flat twin kidney grille, it gets an oblong shaped full LED headlights and a strange looking bumper that has aerodynamically enhanced wings just below the headlamps. The wind shield is raked sharply and further adds to the low look of the car.The side profile is low and characterised by the scissor doors which opens upwards and out providing the i8 with true sportscar credentials. It gets its own special design for the alloy wheels as well as various aerodynamic creases and lines for improved efficiency and to add to the futuristic appearance.The futuristic appearance of the i8 comes alive at the rear end where the prominent features include a futuristic interpretation of BMW s current tail lamp design, bits of body work that act as spoilers. The rear bumper appears to be wider towards the edges in a bid to maintain an even design over the flared wheel arches. While being purposeful, it also adds to the cars muscled appearance.
vThe i8 gets the standard BMW interiors with a few space age touches like the digital gauges and what appears to be a 10 inch display to interact with the iDrive system. The 2 seater car has been trimmed out in a combination of leather, chrome plastics for the centre console and high quality plastics for the rest of the cabin.
For those who don t drive in Europe and America, the cabin may look a little plain and obviously very similar to that of the other BMWs and this is down to the fact that customers in Europe and America place a larger emphasis on vehicle performance and feature more than eye catching design for the interiors. There is also the fact that BMW s cabin design is actually pretty good and does not really look out of place in such a car.
This is where the i8 comes alive. It is powered by a 1.5 litre three cylinder twin scroll turbo engine that produces 231bhp and 320Nm of torque and power is sent to the rear wheels via a six speed AT. The front wheels are connected to an electric motor via a two stage AT box. This motor produces the equivalent of 131bhp and is mated to a 5kWh lithium ion battery. This combination takes the total output to 362bhp and 570Nm of torque allowing the i8 to do 0 100kmph in 4.4 seconds. This setup also gives the i8 a very impressive 39.9kmpl (under European test conditions).
We expect that BMW will price the i8 in the range of Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2.2 crore when it is launched in India. There is no competition for such a vehicle in the Indian market and BMW will be the first one to launch such a car.