Published on March 13th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro
BMW i8 In High Demand As Specifications Are Finalized
It’s been five years since the first BMW i8 concept rolled out, so it’s no wonder that initial demand for the plug-in hybrid supercar is outstripping planned production. While BMW isn’t saying how many people are signed up for the i8, they have released the final specs for the German supercar, which includes a surprising bump in efficiency.
The BMW i8 was initially rated at 94 MPGe on the combined European testing cycle, but for the production version the i8 will actually be rated at 112 MPGe. On pure electric power the i8 can go up to 23 miles, and in city driving the plug-in hybrid is rated at 57 MPG. On the highway efficiency plummets to 35 MPG, though the hybrid drivetrain is good for a combined 326 horsepower and a 4.4 second run from 0 to 60 MPH. Top speed is limited to 155 MPH alas, rather than the promised 184 MPH.
With a drag coefficient of 0.26 and and a curb weight of just 3,273 lbs. thanks to a largely carbon fiber body, the BMW i8 is a model of efficiency. The lead-up to rolling out the BMW i8 has seen demand exceed initial planned production for the $136,000 supercar, and why not? Enthusiasts like me have had half a decade to pine over this car, and it is finally, really here AND its surprisingly similar to the initial concept vehicle.
In my humble opinion, this is what the future of driving looks like. The only car I would even put in the same class of “futuristic feeling rides” is the Tesla Model S, and there’s still a two-to-three month waiting list for that car. But I think the BMW guys have the Model S beat when it comes to patience.