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by Tim Beissmann

The BMW i8 will be even more fuel efficient than originally thought when production of the plug-in hybrid sports car begins next month.

Final production specifications released by BMW quote claimed combined cycle fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100km for the i8 – some 16 per cent lower than the 2.5L/100km claimed at the car’s official unveiling in September.

Claimed average CO2 emissions have also been cut from 59 grams per kilometre to just 49g/km.

BMW says its engineers achieved the efficiency improvements without impacting the i8’s power or performance. As before, the BMW i8 pairs a 170kW/320Nm turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 96kW/250Nm electric motor and a lithium-ion battery for combined peak outputs of 266kW and 570Nm.

The petrol engine sends power to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor drives the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission.

BMW claims 0-100km/h acceleration of 4.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h for the 1485kg 2+2 sports car. The i8 also has a 120km/h top speed in pure-electric mode, an EV range of 37km, and a battery recharge time between less than two hours and up to three hours from either a domestic power socket, BMW i Wallbox or a public charging station.

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BMW has also released some useful real-world fuel consumption data to give prospective owners a better idea of how much fuel they can expect to use in day-to-day driving.

The manufacturer claims with a fully charged battery the i8 can return consumption below 5.0L/100km around town, less than 7.0L/100km with freeway driving added to the mix, and less than 8.0L/100km in longer-distance operation at higher speeds.

BMW claims its real-world figures make the i8 roughly 50 per cent more economical than conventionally powered rival sports cars.

The BMW i8 is scheduled to arrive in Australian showrooms before the end of this year wearing a price tag that’s expected to exceed $250,000.




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