You probably know this car as the futuristic machine from the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. And it is. But it’s also a new production model by BMW coming to a showroom near you in a few years time. It’s the BMW i8, revealed before as a concept, currently in development as a produciton model. This will spearhead BMW’s new range of high-performance green cars under the “i” sub-brand.
Inn the final production version of the i8 the concept of mixing electric electric motors with a small petrol engine remains intact. It will get a 170bhp electric motor on the front axle, and a 223bhp and 295lb ft three-cylinder turbo engine on the rear axle.
More and more car makers are adapting this system for electric sports car, because apart from the apparent advantages in terms of efficiency, it will also make the car four-wheel-drive. The i8 can actually be front-wheel drive (ZEV), rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. In zero-emission electric mode it can cover 20 miles.
As far as performance, when both the electric motor and the petrol unit are working, the car can go from 0 to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and reach a 156mph top speed. That is not exactly fast for a car with those looks. On the upside, it is capable of 104.2mpg.
The production i8 is said to be close to the concept car in terms of styling, sporting pop-up doors and wing-like rear spoilers.
The only piece of bad news is BMW is no longer considering an M version of the i8 powered by a big V8. That’s a shame considering the not-so-brilliant performance of the car.