The German Automobile giant BMW recently launched its most sought out petrol electric hybrid car, the BMW i8 eDrive at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The BMW i series is an eco-friendly car designed to address the mobility and sustainability needs of people in big cities. Introduced as a concept model in the year 2011, the production model of both BMW i3 and i8 actually started last year only and it’s a privilege that we are going to see this vehicle so soon in our country.
Ready to revolutionize its class, the BMW i8 eDrive is the first sports car with the consumption and emission values of a compact car. The strength of this plug-in hybrid car lies in the perfect synchronization of its electric motor and the petrol engine, which combines to give high efficiency and dynamics to the vehicle.
The BMW i8 eDrive is a sports car at first glance. Extremely low and wide, when viewed from the front one can see a flat silhouette, powerfully- formed surfaces and precise lines. It reveals a well-planned revolution with design dedicated to function. The i8 variant has got all the ingredients of a sports car with big wheelbase, short overhangs and also that of a concept car which clearly portrays the company’s philosophy of Vision Efficient Dynamics.
Along with the low and wide front which makes the vehicle look extremely aerodynamic, the front is also characterized by the prominent double kidney grille with two large air intakes, making the origin of the vehicle clear. The i8 gets the LED headlights as standard and matches exactly to enhance the sporty look of the car. There are optional high-beam headlights with laser light technology which will be available in special edition versions to be launched at the end of this year.
Viewed from the side, the vehicle has an exaggerated wedge shape with long drawn-out lines and the flat silhouette underscore the dynamics and fulfil the expectations that one has for a sports car. Apart from that the sides gets spectacular scissor doors that swings upwards when one opens it. These doors are an optical highlight and blend perfectly with the smooth lines of vehicle’s aerodynamic shape. The BMW i8 gets three Rim options shown below :
From the front to the rear, the car has a very dynamic, three-dimensional appearance. Surfaces and lines overlap and interlock, a method known as ‘layering’. This joins all the surfaces harmoniously and allows compact and unbelievably agile look. Its monolithic appearance lends the vehicle its extraordinarily powerful stature.
The vehicle measures 4700 mm in length, 1,940mm in width and has a height of 1,300 mm which makes this sporty vehicle look a little short from the front.
Just like the exterior of BMW i8 is marked with seamless sporty look, the interiors too are made to add value to that. The interiors clearly indicate the classic sports character as well as typical BMW driver orientation has been the focus while shaping it. The centre console inside the car is aligned towards the driver and all instruments as well as signs in the digital instrument panel along with two large displays are made simple to use. The passengers when sitting inside the car can feel how close they are sitting to the ground; and especially the narrow lightweight seats provide reliable support and high level of comfort even when cornering rapidly.
The composition of materials used in the vehicle is 20% lighter than the normal leather. The i8 comes with three different levels of materials used. The first one being the ‘Neso’ trim boasts of the sporty look of the car in every aspect, and this feature will come as a standard in this car. The other two trims, ‘Carpo’ and ‘Halo’ will be optional features; wherein the Carpo will come in two colours, whereas the Halo trim will be equipped with special leather tanned in olive extract.
Other features worth mentioning inside the car includes the 8.8 inch iDrive computer system, which gives a clear user interface to amenities like navigation system, audio system, air condition, heater and communication systems. The gearshift controls, iDrive operating system, eDrive and start/stop button are all located at the centre console for the comfort of the front passenger.
The i8 eDrive gets the combination of an electric motor and a powerful petrol engine to make the vehicle one of the most innovative sports car of this generation. The BMW eDrive technology has been developed as a result of many years of BMW EfficientDynamics work. This Intelligent Energy Management system coordinates the interaction between the electric motor and combustion engine to give maximum performance with minimum consumption.
The electric drive in this vehicle gets a powerful 96kW (131HP) motor, which is located on the front axle. On the other hand a powerful BMW Twin Turbo 1.5 litre 3 cylinder petrol engine with 170 kW (231 HP) and 320 Nm of torque drives the rear axle. These two drive systems combine to accelerate the BMW i8 from 0-100km/hr in just 4.4 seconds and can reach a top speed of 250km/hr (electronically controlled).
Now to provide an exceptional driving experience, the i8 comes integrated with three driving modes: COMFORT, ECO PRO and the SPORT mode. The eDrive button can be pressed only during the COMFORT and ECO Pro modes, whereas the combustion engine takes in charge while at the SPORT mode.
The safety features inside the BMW i8 is the best in its class and has been tailored perfectly to the vehicle. The high-strength carbon passenger cell not only protects passengers, but also safeguards the high-voltage battery located between the two parts of the Drive module against external influences. And the most advanced Innovative BMW ConnectedDrive Driver Assistance systems help the driver to remain aware of what’s going on around them and to react correctly in any given situation.
The Driver Assistance system gives the vehicle a large number of camera-based support system like the Rear-end collision warning, Pedestrian warning and the parking assistance.
If you believe in love at first sight for cars, and you are a person who likes to peer over the horizon, then the i8 eDrive is the car just for you. With its Efficient Dynamics technology and Life Drive architecture, the vehicle promises a fascinating driving experience and looks beyond the present at the same time. Even thought the pricing of the car seems a bit too high for Rs 1,50,00,000, it should be affordable for those millionaires who look forward for good looking futuristic items.
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