The new 2015 BMW i8 constitute the optimal balance between dynamic ability and efficiency in a variety of driving situations. BMW i8 offers impressively sporty performance which is also very efficient thanks to the power-boosting support for the gasoline engine from the electric motor.
2015 BMW i8 Interior. The standard leather trim extends beyond the seat surfaces to parts of the center console, instrument panel and interior door panels. The use of leather treated with natural substances, including olive leaf extract as a tanning agent, underlines the sustainable character of the BMW i8 alongside its exclusivity and sporting allure. Exposed CFRP sections of the passenger cell visible around the entry apertures when the doors are opened provide a reminder of the low weight of the BMW i8.
The instrument panel of the BMW i8, with its horizontal lines emphasizing the width of the interior and a structure determined by the “layering” principle, creates a light yet powerful impression. The arrangement of the overlapping, three-dimensional segments is complemented by a contrast-rich color scheme. The layering approach also finds its way, through dynamically curving lines, into the design of the center console, which is home to the gearshift lever, the Controller for the iDrive operating system, the start/stop button, the eDrive button and the Driving Experience Control switch. The iDrive system’s Control Display comes in a freestanding 8.8-inch format. A bespoke sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and the Navigation system are standard in the BMW i8. Also standard is the multifunction instrument display, whose content and presentation formats take their cue from the driving mode selected.
In standard specification, the contrast between black surfaces in the cockpit and light Carum Grey leather surfaces emphasizes the lightness and sustainability of this vehicle concept. The leather surfaces of the door and side trim are complemented by functional textile highlights made from recycled material. The optional Giga equipment World is available in light or dark versions. The naturally treated leather surfaces feature perforated elements and subtle contrast stitching which underline the superior character of the material and workmanship involved. Painted surface elements on the instrument panel, door trim and center console add the finishing touches to the cutting-edge ambience. The likewise optional Tera equipment World brings a pervasive aura of luxury and sustainability to the interior of the BMW i8. Top-quality leather surfaces combine with textile accents and contrast stitching in BMW i Blue. And when it comes to the color scheme, dark Dalbergia Brown and light Carum Grey provide attractive contrasts. The Tera World also brings high-class paintwork to selected instrument panel and door trim surfaces. The accent ring for the leather steering wheel comes in BMW i Blue in the Tera equipment World and in Satin Silver in the other variants.
2015 BMW i8 Exterior. Hallmark BMW dynamics, lightweight design and efficiency are all expressed in the car’s proportions, lines and surface design. The 2+2-seater is immediately recognizable as a BMW i model and a new-generation sports car.
This layering principle allows aerodynamic forms to be wrapped up in a progressively styled package, while powerfully formed wheel arches draw attention to the wide track of the BMW i8. The compact construction distinguishing both the electric motor and combustion engine allows the front and rear sections of the car to be particularly low-slung and thus accentuate the car’s dynamically stretched flanks. The scissor-type doors, which open forward and upwards like wings, add extra intrigue to the sports car design of the BMW i8.
A signature feature of the BMW i brand is the “black band”. On the BMW i8, it emerges in a “V” shape from the hood and extends back over the roof into the rear section of the car, where it frames the center section of the rear apron. At the front end, the black band is framed by the body-colored apron and fenders, while at the rear it is overlapped by the “floating” roof pillars, which extend over the rear lights. Another element of the standalone BMW i design language is the “stream flow” contour of the side window. On the BMW i8 the stream flow also determines the path travelled by the air between the falling roofline and the character line rising through the rear section of the car’s flanks towards the rear spoiler lip.
Large front apron air intakes arranged over several levels generate a powerful feeling of depth. The extremely broad BMW kidney grille stretches over to the slim headlights, accentuating the width of the BMW i8 and its road-focused stance. The car’s full-LED headlights adopt the hallmark U-shape of BMW i models. The dipped and high-beam light is emitted by a lens positioned on the far outer edge of the light units. The three-dimensional design of the light sources lend their appearance a sporty character.
The low-slung stance of the rear end and its horizontal, width-emphasizing lines also provide a clear showcase for the dynamic potential of the BMW i8. The rear is bordered by the sculpted rear wheel arches. The sloping rear window opens high, allowing easy access to the storage compartment located underneath. The rear lights, reflectors and rear diffuser form a single visual unit that strengthens the car’s already powerful appearance. Like the headlights, the intricately designed rear light clusters also feature the characteristic BMW i U-shaped design. The directional indicators are integrated above the rear lights into the descending roofline. All of the exterior lights on the BMW i8 are LEDs.
2015 BMW i8 Engines and Transmission. The BMW i8 is the first BMW production model to be powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine. This highly turbocharged unit is equipped with latest-generation BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The three-cylinder combustion engine in the BMW i8 develops 170 kW/231 hp and drives the rear wheels, while the 96 kW/131 hp electric motor draws its energy from a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged from a conventional 110 volt power outlet as well as a 220 volt electric vehicle charger, and sends its power to the front axle. This bespoke plug-in hybrid system, developed and produced by the BMW Group, enables a range in everyday driving of up to 35 kilometers (approx. 22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (approx. 75 mph) on electric power alone, coupled with a “glued-to-the-road” all-wheel driving experience headlined by powerful acceleration and a dynamically-biased distribution of power through enthusiastically taken corners.