We've run across some rather interesting news... or perhaps we should say interesting sounds. The folks from Bimmerpost have scrounged up a short video showing a preproduction BMW i8 running through a few gears in Sport mode at a quick pace, and if you were concerned that the somewhat eco-friendly nature of the upcoming German sports car would neuter its ability to stir the aural senses, fret not.

Judging by the lovely noise coming from the engine compartment of the i8 in the video, BMW's expertise in tuning high-strung, small-bore engines – remember, BMW Motorrad has quite the penchant for well-conceived motorcycle engines – has come through loud and clear. Now, it's worth mentioning that BMW's controversial Active Sound technology will be included with the i8, so the production car may not sound exactly like this version, which is running with the tech disabled. Owners won't have the ability to disable Active Sound on production i8s.

In related news, Bimmerpost reports that BMW will equip the i8 with an external Active Sound Design system to go along with its Pedestrian Protection System. That means those on the outside will likely hear piped engine recordings from the rear and a sort of "howl" from the front in order to warn pedestrians that the otherwise quiet (when running on electricity, that is) car is approaching. It will also feature technology that can stop the car before contacting a pedestrian.

With all that out of the way, we suggest you scroll down below to hear the upcoming i8 making its presence known through some rather glorious-sounding musical combustion.


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  • 35 Comments
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      Man, if 10 years ago I told you that BMW would be selling a 3-cylinder car for $134K, you would have told me that I was crazy!
      dlopez1501
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is a three pot?!
        flammablewater
        • 9 Months Ago
        @dlopez1501
        That's "active sound" pumped in through the speakers inside the cabin like on the M5. Wait until you hear the exhaust sound from outside, it might sound the same, it might not...
      MistyGreen
      • 9 Months Ago
      That sounds exactly like the sound Enduro for Atari. Wow. Almost like it was intentional.
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      So he put on the flashers because he won the race?
      dohc73
      • 9 Months Ago
      The exhaust doesn't sound like this, that's for sure. I've seen a test mule on the road near the N/A HQ and from the outside, the sound is nothing spectacular.
      Andre Neves
      • 9 Months Ago
      Am I supposed to get all "excited" over these fake engine sounds? BMW is the epitome of everything that used to be RIGHT with the driving experience. Now, they are the exact opposite. BMW - The Ultimate D̶r̶i̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ Machine.
        Brian
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Actually, the Active Sound Design is disabled (see title of the video). If that is in fact the sound of the 1.5L 3 cylinder engine, we've got some exciting times ahead of us...
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Hard to be any more wrong isn't it?
        Sean
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Andre Neves
        ADS is disabled in this video.
      thedriveatfive
      • 9 Months Ago
      "Owners won't have the ability to disable Active Sound on production i8s." Ultimate Poser Machine?
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      That's a REALLY fast 0-60 for a car that's suppose to get 91MPG US. Three pots sound cool. They have a grunt similar to an NSX intake note.
      Jarod Forney
      • 9 Months Ago
      Nice classic NSX tone, one of the greatest mechanical sounds from a N/A, can't believe this is a 3 cylinder..
      Rr778
      • 9 Months Ago
      That mock up dash looks like the one from a go kart.
      bleexeo
      • 9 Months Ago
      Yawn. Active Sound just means it's fake and piped over the car's audio system.
      Triharderken
      • 9 Months Ago
      Dear lord, I had no idea a 3-cylinder could sound like that! I'm totally buying a Fiesta toDAY.
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