The BMW i8 is certainly a sports car unlike any other on the market. With its fuel efficient hybrid powertrain and extensive use of carbon fibre, the i8 doesn’t have any direct rivals. Before the production spec i8 was launched however, the German marque introduced the Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics display car and previewed a futuristic design language for the firm.
It was back in 2010 when the Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics launched that BMW enthusiast Dirk Schulz just knew he had to someday own such a car. While it hadn’t been confirmed for production, Schulz immediately optioned out the car and ultimately became the first owner of the road-going BMW i8.
As a reminder, the BMW i8 is of course the second model from BMW’s new BMW i-Series. It is intended as a sports car and provides a forward-looking, revolutionary interpretation of BMW’s hallmark driving experience. It is a 2+2-seater with a design that BMW refer to as LifeDrive architecture. It gets a “life module” passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), as you would expect from any premium sports car. Total weight is just 1,490 kg, bearing in mind the plug-in hybrid architecture.
The production-spec i8 was of course revealed to the public last year at the Frankfurt Auto Show with production commencing in April. The drive system utilises a brand new three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. From 1.5 litres, the i8 manages an output of 231 hp, a maximum torque of 320 Nm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The petrol engine is supplemented by an electric motor with an output of 131 hp and maximum torque of 250 Nm. The power from this lithium-ion high-voltage battery is channelled through the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission.