BMW has announced the North American debut of the i8 Concept Roadster at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show which starts next week. The plug-in hybrid is powered by a high-performance drivetrain combining an electric motor and a gasoline engine with a lithium-ion battery developing 220bhp while on gasoline and 134bhp while running on electric motors.
BMW built it upon its LifeDrive architecture which involves modular construction and innovative materials. It features a 50-50 weight distribution whereby the motors are positioned over each axle and the battery pack in a central tunnel. The i8 Roadster will drive both in rear and front wheel configuration.
The total output is 354bhp and it will achieve a 0-100kph speed in 4.6 seconds. Besides having the sporty characteristics, its fuel economy is an impressive 104mpg on average while the lithium battery can only run for 20 miles before it’s recharged for 1hr and 45mins. Its set to launch in 2014 at a projected price of £80,000.
Other than the i8 Concept Roadster, BMW will also show the Concept K2 Powder Ride ahead of the BMW X1 Powder Ride Edition that arrives later this month, the ActiveHybrid 3, ActiveHybrid 5, 7 Series, X6 Performance Edition, M5, M6, and 650i Gran Coupe.