The BMW i8 plug-in-hybrid sports car is just the sort of crazy project that could help redefine the BMW brand – and perhaps even the notion of what makes a car enthusiast – for the 21st Century. It's the sort of out-of-the-box thinking we've been waiting for some automaker to deploy, so these new details are exciting.

To start with, according to Britain's Car, the i8 will only be available as a plug-in hybrid – no conventional, internal-combustion-only version will be offered. That means no M version will be in the cards, at least not an M product in the way we currently define the BMW performance moniker. But the report says the i8 will have a more powerful gas engine than we've previously reported, with its 1.5-liter three-cylinder cranking out 223 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels. The front-drive electric motor is said to be rated at 170 horsepower, giving the i8 a combined 393 hp and 406 lb-ft.

The report claims that the i8 will have a 20-mile all-electric range, a top speed of 156 miles per hour, and sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. Curb weight is said to be just 3,125 pounds, which is less than most models of the new 2012 3 Series, thanks to the i8's carbon fiber body and aluminum chassis. Recharge time is said to be six hours, presumably on a 220-volt system. In all, a pretty amazing package.

But here's the kicker: Car says the i8 will be priced above €100,000, which is $132,600 based on today's exchange rates. We expect the i8 to hit the market as a 2014 model, and while that price is spendy by plebeian standards, the queue for the car will most certainly be long, at least initially.

Click past the jump if you've missed any of BMW's i8 videos.










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  • 27 Comments
      Toddley
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car is expected to get 100 miles per galls. ONE HUNDRED. It should be pretty obvious that raw performance isn't the goal. But 0-60 in under 5 seconds in a car that has that kind of mileage is still incredibly impressive. If you want a car to do donuts in, BMW still makes the M3 and M5.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Toddley
        Maybe on the European MPG scheme. No way that gets 100mpg here, except in the way the Volt was listed as 230mpg for a while.
      lorenzo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this a STORY? "BMW nixes plan for M version of i8" As IF there ever WAS a plan for an i8M? AB has the crappies sensationalistic headlines......
      chest rockwell
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm mixed on this car. Similar to what SVX pearlie said, it comes off as a sporty Volt to me..... with the Benz SL/Audi R8 pricetag (used R8!). My hat's off for their use of materials and keeping the weight so low, all while having a hybrid DT. Hope this tech trickles down the chain.
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      I won't buy BMWs because the brand does not suit me, that being said I always have a lot of respect for BMW products. (except for say 5GT, X6, styling of 1) This hybrid sport car with CF construction, if truly priced at 130k would be a great vehicle for BMW. While Mercedes AMG still flaunts the high power German muscle SLS, the i8 is much more forward thinking, much smarter and more sophisticated than the Merc. I have to say I am amazed BMW is actually producing this car, based on the i3/i8 joint promotion its easy to see that BMW is using the spotlight on the i8 to move the i3, which can potentially be a blockbuster hit if priced properly.
      Dvanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoa that instrument cluster is straight out of a Tron movie!!! Looks cool but so unBMWish.
      • 2 Years Ago
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        • 2 Years Ago
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          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          What are you talking about? It's one of their most expensive cars. It's a showcase car. It's been featured in movies already. Yeah, it's a halo car. I don't think the fact that it isn't a great race car is important, that's not what it was designed to be.
          • 2 Years Ago
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      genelamont
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks the NSX.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the car will stay at 130k or less I am might consider this is my potential future car. It reminds me of m1, has descent performance for it's fuel efficiency, and impressive tech. Plus it looked like a real badass in the recent Mission Impossible movie. I just hope they do something about those nipple rear lights and keep that laser grill/headlight lights.
      Kuro Houou
      • 2 Years Ago
      132k for a sports car that does 0-60 in 4.9 seconds? And only gets 20 miles on its charge? Seems like a whole lot of money for nothing. What kind of MPG is it supposed to get? Maybe if it got 50-60 mpg it would be worth it. But I'd take a well equipped Porsche 911 I think. And take the cash saved and buy some gas and still have money left over.
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      So it'll be about as fast as a 335i, which costs $45k or so It'll have a 20 mile electric range Any other reason to spend the extra $100k? I'm just curious....... BD
        Toddley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        Styling, sustainability, exclusivity, 100 mpg.
        jj360
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        I will handle brake significantly better than any other BMW. While we on the speed issue - none the less the i8 is a fantastic car.
          jj360
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jj360
          Sorry: It will handle and break significantly better...
      csrecord
      • 2 Years Ago
      When I first saw the photo, I thought it was the new Firebird.
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