A camouflaged test mule of the BMW i8 hybrid sportscar has been caught testing in Munich, signalling a progress in the car's journey to sprout into a production model. Fans of the Mission Impossible franchise will recall Tom Cruise overspeeding in one in the crowded streets of Mumbai in M-I 4 to prevent a nuclear attack from happening.
The i8 Concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show along with the i3 electric city car. Here are the spyshots of the road-ready plug-in hybrid sportscar captured by reader Andreas of BMWBlog.com.
The BMW i8 is powered by a combination of a 1.5 litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor. The electric motor, which derives power from a 7.2 Kwh battery pack propels the front axle while the rear-mounted petrol engine drives the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission.
The design of the test mule stays true to that of the i8 Concept including the futuristic doors. The 2+2 seat sports car has a low slung and aerodynamic appearance.
The car can accelerate to 100 kmph from a standstill in under 5 seconds. The top speed is limited to 250 kmph. The location of the battery pack in the centre tunnel makes for an optimized 50:50 weight distribution. Expect this sportscar to be as agile and dynamic as BMW's regular sportscars.
The battery can be charged fully in just 2 hours. BMW claims a combined fuel efficiency under the European test cycle of less than 3.0 litre/100 km (33.33+ kmpl).
The BMW i8 is slated for production next year.