The BMW i8 Concept is the next step in the evolution of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept resulting in the most progressive and innovative sports car of its time. Its innovative plug-in hybrid concept combines the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept fitted over its front axle with a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at the rear. Working together they allow the two drive systems to display their respective talents to the full, delivering the performance of a sports car but even more importantly the fuel consumption of a small car.
The BMW i8 Concept is capable of 0-62 mph in just under five seconds and returns approximately 104mpg, these figures are currently beyond the capability of any vehicle powered by a combustion engine of comparable performance. The BMW i8 Concept can travel up to twenty miles on electric power alone due to the derive technology with its large lithium-ion battery, which can be charged from a domestic power supply.
The LifeDrive architecture of the BMW i8 Concept has been carefully adapted to enhance the vehicle's sports car character, and therefore to deliver unbeatable performance and excellent driving dynamics. The motor in the front axle module and combustion engine at the rear are connected by an "energy tunnel", which houses the high-voltage battery. This gives the car a low centre of gravity and the dynamic benefits that come with it. The positioning of the electric motor and engine over their respective axles and the space-saving and well-balanced packaging of all components result in an optimum 50/50 weight distribution. Added to which, the 2+2 seater offers enough space for four people, giving it a high level of everyday practicality.