Future Car: 2014 BMW i8
BMW enters the growing “eco supercar” field with a retail version of its wild Vision EfficientDynamics Concept coupe. The i8 is a range-extender hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt, but it promises to totally redefine the “ultimate driving machine” experience.
What It Is
The 2014 BMW i8 is a “green performance” sports coupe with a range-extender plug-in hybrid powertrain. Previewed by the 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics experimental and a 2011 update of that concept, the i8 joins the i3 city car in launching BMW’s “i” sub-brand that is planned to host a broader lineup of advanced-technology electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids, and range-extender hybrids, all specially designed for electric propulsion instead of being adapted from conventional designs. And indeed, a third model, called i5 and sharing the i8’s powertrain, is said to be in the works for a calendar-2016 introduction.
BMW says the first two i-cars will go on sale sometime in 2013, which likely means 2014-model U.S. debuts. The pair has so far been seen only in concept form, but the production versions are expected to be quite similar in general appearance, dimensions, and technical makeup. Pricing, options, sales targets, and other details won’t be announced until closer to the launch dates.
The 2014 BMW i8 and i3 are the latest fruits of Project i, which began soon after the BMW board decided in 2000 to adopt “sustainable mobility” as a long-term corporate strategy. Earlier results of the multifaceted development effort included the gas/electric “ActiveHybrid” options for the X6 premium-midsize SUV and 7-Series premium-large sedan, an all-electric Mini E based on BMW’s small British-built 2-door hatchback, and a more-advanced “Active E” version of the company’s 1-Series premium-compact coupe. Mini Es and Active Es have been leased over the past few years to consumers in the U.S. and several other countries, providing real-world feedback on batteries and drive systems that has influenced i-car powertrain engineering.
For more inside information on hundreds of new cars of today and tomorrow, check out:
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.