BMW i8 hybrid supercar (2013) scooped on video
Engineers continue to test the BMW i8 ahead of its launch at a motor show in 2013 - and our friends over at Bimmerpost have snapped this spy video of the i8 on test in the Arctic snows. The mid-engined 2+2 coupe goes on sale in 2014.
A low-flung 2+2-seater equipped with pop-up doors and wing-like rear spoilers, the BMW i halo car mates a 170bhp electric motor - which drives the front wheels - to a turbocharghed 1.5-litre three-cylinder good for 223bhp and 295lb ft, which drives the rear wheels. The mooted M version which would have instead relied on a big-bore V8 or even on the outgoing V10 is no longer part of the programme.
Thanks to a very clever black box, the i8 can be front-wheel drive (ZEV), rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. With a little help from the torque vectoring chips, this is said to be an extremely dynamic piece of kit which knows all the power oversteer tricks of the trade. Fully charged, the coupé can at the push of a button cover about 20 miles in near-silent zero-emission mode.
All BMW i models will come with such innovative driver assistance systems as One Pedal Control (accelerate, decelerate and coast by throttle order), Active Brake Control (works up to 40mph and includes pedestrian recognition), Park Assist (including automatic navigation), Congestion Assist (works up to 25mph and includes active steering), Range Assist (shows all available charge points and takes you there on demand), Precondition Assist (cooling down, heating, charging - all by smartphone) and Navigation Assist (connects with bus & rail services - just in case...)