The arrival of the first BMW i8 in Australia was heralded with a grand unveiling in Sydney.
Built from the ground up to accommodate two separate drivetrains, a plug-in hybrid and a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, the sleek lines are crafted from carbon fibre and set on an aluminium chassis.
This environmentally friendly super car is capable of reaching 100km/h in 4.4sec by combining the power plants. It’s top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
Its 1.5-litre TwinPower Turbo petrol engine produces 170kW, and 320Nm, delivering power to the rear wheels, while the completely separate 94kW lithium-ion battery powered electric motor drives the front wheels for a combined maximum output and performance of 266kW and 570Nm.
The i8 can travel more than 35km on electric power alone, with zero emissions and it’s official fuel consumption is just 2.1L/100km with CO2 emissions lower than 49 g/km.
It’s an unconventional design, with in your face aerodynamic lines carved deep from all angles.
The large air outlet on the bonnet draws air up to cool the radiator, before it’s released quickly and efficiently with minimal drag.
Prominent air channels along the side of the car take air under the vehicle at the rear, creating an area of low pressure that helps to stabilise and create downward force, then there’re those cutout airflow channels that sweep around through the rear spoiler.
The i8 is expected to be priced between $250,000 and $300,000, full pricing and specification to be confirmed closer to launch, and prospective customers will have access to a demonstration model from December 2014.
BMW i sales commence from November 2014 with the i3, available from BMW Melbourne, BMW Sydney, Brisbane BMW and Auto Classic in Perth.