Bmw I8

 bmw i8

I8 COUPE - [374] 2dr Auto



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£114,200 

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The i8 Coupe is BMW's vision of the future of high performance sports car motoring - and now they've further improved it. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.


Make
Derivative
Fuel
Total Price
I8 COUPE
[374] 2dr Auto
X
£114,200.00
I8 ROADSTER
2dr Auto
X
£126,200.00

Ten Second Review

The improved BMW i8 Coupe is a hybrid supercar now capable of delivering a 374hp punch if provoked. Alternatively, it can glide noiselessly along on pure electric power with an even greater all-electric range. The quoted fuel economy figures need taking with a grain of salt but if you wanted a vision of the future of sports cars, you're looking at it right here.

Background

Right from its launch in 2014, the BMW i8 has set a fresh course for what a high performance sportscar really ought to be. It's paraded as a paradigm shift in sports car development. A car that makes existing petrol-powered coupes look about as cutting edge as a video cassette recorder. Well now BMW has improved it. First by offering buyers the option of an expensive open-topped Roadster version. And second, by using the latest technology to considerably enhance the hybrid powertrain, which features on the Coupe derivative that's our focus here. There's now more power, more torque, great economy and cleanliness, plus the all-electric driving range can now be as much as 32 miles. There's a very high price to pay for all this technology of course but, as BMW is quick to point out, no other car in this class can offer anything like this. Here's proof that 1.5-litres of internal combustion and a battery pack deserves to be taken extremely seriously.

ABOUT THE CAR

Take a look at the standard options on this car and the technical specifications
Electric Vehicle Data
WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Low
20.7
WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Medium
19.3
WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - High
19.7
WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Extra High
21.7
WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City
19.9
WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb
20.4
WLTP - AER (km) - City
24
WLTP - AER (km) - Comb
26
WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Low
51
WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Medium
55
WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - High
54
WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Extra High
49
WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - City
54
WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb
52
WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb
13.9
WLTP - EC AC Ch Dep (kWh/100km) - Comb
18.6
Battery Charge Type 1 Time (Minutes)
180
Battery Charge Type 1 kW
2.4
Battery Charge Type 1 Percentage
0-80
Battery Charge Type 2 Time (Minutes)
120
Battery Charge Type 2 kW
3.7
Battery Charge Type 2 Percentage
0-80
Coupler/Connector Type
Type 2
Battery Capacity in kWh
9.4
NEDC Electricity Consumption kWh/100 km
11.9
NEDC Maximum EV Range Miles
23
Battery Leased
False
Battery Type
Lithium-ion
WLTP - AER (miles) - City
15
WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb
16
WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City
3.1
WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb
3
WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Extra High
2.9
WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - High
3.2
WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Low
3
WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Medium
3.2
Emissions - ICE
CO2 (g/km)
42
Standard Euro Emissions
EURO 6
Emissions - PHEV
WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Low
194
WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Medium
145
WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - High
136
WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Extra High
161
WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb
154
WLTP - CO2 Charge Depleting (g/km) - Comb
33
WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb
49
WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min
49
WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max
49
Engine and Drive Train
Cylinders - Bore (mm)
82
Cylinders - Stroke (mm)
94.6
CC
1499
Cylinders
3
Cylinder Layout
IN-LINE
Number of Valves
12
Camshaft
DOHC
Fuel Delivery
TWIN TURBO
Catalytic Convertor
True
Engine Layout
REAR TRANSVERSE
Compression Ratio
9.5:1
Transmission
AUTO
Gears
6 SPEED
Engine Code
B38K15T0
Fuel Consumption - ICE
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
True
EC Combined (mpg)
134.5
EC Combined (mpg)
158.9
Fuel Consumption - PHEV
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low
33.2
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium
44.1
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High
47.1
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High
39.8
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb
41.5
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low
8.5
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium
6.4
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High
6
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High
7.1
WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb
6.8
WLTP - FC Ch Dep (l/100km) - Comb
1.3
WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb
2.2
WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min
2.2
WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max
2.2
WLTP - FC Ch Dep (mpg) - Comb
217.3
WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb
128.4
WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min
128.4
WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max
128.4
General
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
3
Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
999999
Service Interval Mileage
18000
Service Interval Frequency - Months
24
Badge Power
374
Badge Engine CC
1.5
Vehicle Homologation Class
M1
Safety Concerns?
False
Special Edition
False
Special Order
False
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07
50E
Generation Mark
1
Performance
Engine Torque - MKG
58.1
Engine Power - BHP
374
Engine Power - PS
True
0 to 60 mph (secs)
False
0 to 62 mph (secs)
4.4
Top Speed
155
Engine Power - KW
275
Engine Power - RPM
5800
Engine Torque - LBS.FT
420
Engine Torque - NM
570
Engine Torque - RPM
3700
Test Cycles
Emissions Test Cycle
NEDC Correlated
Tyres
Alloys?
True
Space Saver?
False
Wheel Style
W SPOKE STYLE 470
Tyre Size Rear
215/45 R20
Tyre Size Rear
245/40 R20
Tyre Size Spare
TYRE REPAIR KIT
Wheel Type
20" ALLOY
Tyre Size Front
195/50 R20
Tyre Size Front
215/45 R20
Vehicle Dimensions
Length
4689
Width
1942
Wheelbase
2800
Width (including mirrors)
2218
Height
1291
Weight and Capacities
Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)
154
No. of Seats
4
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb
12.3
Minimum Kerbweight
1535
Gross Vehicle Weight
1870
Max. Loading Weight
335
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
42
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Driving Experience

There's more performance on offer from this revised model. The MINI Cooper-derived three cylinder 1.5-litre engine now puts out 231hp. At the same time, the energy capacity of the lithium-ion battery it works alongside has increased from 20Ah to 34Ah, creating an improved net energy capacity of 11.6kWh. That's made it possible to raise the electric motor's power output to 143hp. All of this means that the combined electric motor and engine ouput is now 374hp (previously it was 357hp). And that's a lot in a sportscar weighing less than 1.5-tonnes. 62mph from rest now takes just 4.4s in the Coupe. The top speed, as before, is rather pointlessly pegged at 155mph. As you might expect, the i8 has a number of tricks up its sleeve. In eDRive mode, it's a front-wheel drive electrically powered vehicle with an improved range of 32 miles. Select Comfort mode and the i8 is a plug-in hybrid with a range of over 300 miles. Choose Sport mode by slotting a small lever from 'D' to 'S' and the i8 goes feral, the petrol engine and motor double-teaming to really bring the excitement. The damping will tighten, the power assistance for the steering will taper off and the software will juggle the torque split for maximum entertainment. There'll be some artificial noise piped into the cabin but it should sound good. The six-speed 'automatic transmission has been chosen over the ZF eight-speeder to save weight but it's a good unit. The calibration of the braking between regenerative and mechanical is something many manufacturers should benchmark. The i8's centre of gravity is admirably low, but the 215/45 R20 front tyres have been chosen as much for their green credentials as anything else and will be the first thing to lapse into gentle understeer if you manhandle the car. Wider tyres are optionally available as long as you don't mind a small economy trade off. Keen drivers should certainly tick that box.

Design and Build

The i8 Coupe still looks like no other car. It's sleek and clean in its detailing and features beetle-wing upwards opening doors. I can't think of another rival in its price bracket that offers quite so much visual drama. Given that you could easily blow a similar £110k budget on a Porsche 911 Carrera, the BMW moves the game on. Suddenly Audi's R8, a car that once looked so bold, looks a bit under-baked. The i8's rear end is particularly unusual, with no visible exhausts and what looks to be the tail of a Porsche 911 being enveloped by the plastic bodywork. Once you see it, you won't be able to forget it. The i8 keeps its kerb weights low thanks to a body that's a mix of carbon fibre and aluminium. The chassis is aluminium and the upper 'Life' passenger cell is carbon but BMW hasn't gone all race-tech and stripped-out. Coupe buyers tend to value the small rear seats too. As for the rest of the cabin, well even if you hid the badges, the smooth sweep of the dashboard and the excellent ergonomics clearly bear Munich's mark. The dash is an LED virtual screen with another display popping up from the dash roll top. It's very nicely executed but surprisingly, not as adventurous as the humbler i3 hatch. Practicalities include a 42-litre fuel tank, a 12.3 metres turning circle and, in the Coupe, a rather puny 154-litre boot.
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Bmw I8 Review