It has begun. BMW has begun global deliveries of the world’s first BMW i8s. The first eight customers from Germany were handed over their BMW i8s in an official ceremony at the company’s Leipzig plant in Germany. The BMW i8 also becomes the first car to feature BMW’s laser lights and BMW becomes the first manufacturer worldwide to offer totally new laser-powered headlights in a production vehicle. While Roland Krüger, Head of Sales and Marketing Germany for the BMW Group, and Dr. Helmut Schramm, Head of Production Electric Vehicles handed over the keys, celebrity guests, such as TV presenter Thomas Gottschalk and actor Thomas Kretschmann took part in the vehicle presentation.
“In November of last year, we welcomed the first BMW i3 customers here at BMW Welt. Today, we are continuing the BMW i success story with the first eight BMW i8 customers worldwide. As ‘the first of a new era’, the BMW i8 combines the sustainable design of a carbon-fibre body with a powerful plug-in hybrid,” stated Roland Krüger. “This success would not be possible without our retail partners. We are delighted that our BMW i agents are accompanying us on the road to the future of mobility.”
Following the vehicle handover, the new BMW i8 was presented to a select audience in a special multimedia show, featuring actor Thomas Kretschmann. “The car looks fantastic. It’s a technical revolution. I’m really looking forward to working with BMW,” said Kretschmann. TV Presenter Thomas Gottschalk who chaired the BMW i8 roundtable remarked, “I just experienced driving the BMW i8 for myself: It’s a lot of fun. I would never have thought pure electric driving could be so sporty.”
The BMW i8 is powered by a plug-in hybrid system that combines a three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and BMW eDrive technology in the form of a hybrid synchronous electric motor. The petrol engine with a displacement of 1.5 litres and an output of 231 hp and maximum torque of 320 Nm powers the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. The electric motor with an output of 131 hp and maximum torque of 250 Nm powers the front wheels through a two-stage automatic transmission.
With the total output of 362 hp, the BMW i8 can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds. While offering sports car performance, the BMW i8’s consumption is of a small car with jut 2.1 litres consumed for every 100 km and CO2 emissions of 49 g/km. With just the electric power alone, the i8 can run for 37 kms and can attain a top speed of 120 km/h. Combined with petrol engine, the i8 gets a range of up to 600 kms.
The BMW i8 features a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle; Electric Power Steering; Dynamic Damper Control as standard; 20-inch light-alloy wheels as standard.