BMW i8 was launched in India on February 18, 2015, at NSIC, Mumbai. A press launch preceded a star studded VIP launch event later in the evening. While taxi laps and drive experiences have only just begun, seeing the BMW i8 is in itself leaving quite an impression on those catching a glimpse. In short as a guest puts it, ‘this car will enable a lot more people to enjoy the BMW experience.
From the look of it, guests call it an amazing car. That oomph is strongly supported by its intelligent plug-in hybrid system credentials. Actor Sonakshi Sinha has been a fan of the luxury brand ever since she bought her BMW 550i Gran Turismo, which she thinks is fantastic. The actor even took to Twitter to call it a truly magnificent beauty.
Present at the BMW i8 launch were Sudhanshu Pandey, Rohan Gavaskar, Swati Mankar, Esha Gupta, Kangna Ranaut, Mandira Bedi, Shahid Kapoor, Sharat Saxena, Abhijeet Sawant, Roshan Abbas, Marc Robinson, Anu Malik, Purab Kohli, Miss Malini, Harshad Chavan and Anushka Manchanda among others. Brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar thanks BMW for making ‘Mission Impossible, possible’for all of us. The vent was emceed by Sarah Jane Dias. Kangna Ranaut was seen taking a few taxi laps in this beauty with a whopping price tag.
i8’s 96 kW (131 hp) lithium-ion battery is located on the front axle. The rear axle is powered by BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with max power output pegged at 170 kW (231 hp). Petrol engine combined with the hybrid system sees both units together deliver 362 hp. BMW i8 goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds using all four wheels. Top speed on battery power is pegged at 120 km/h with a max range of 35 kilometers. Alongwith the combustion engine, the electric motor e-powered supercar goes to 250 km/h. Based on driving style, driving range can be up to 600 kilometers. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions stand at an average of 47.45 km/l and 50.36 g/km, respectively.
The hybrid sports car depends on LifeDrive vehicle architecture for weight optimisation. The passenger cell is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and Drive module of an aluminium frame for combustion engine, electric motor, battery pack and suspension. BMW eDrive can be charged from any mains socket with a BMW i Wallbox, or while driving. BMW i Wallbox affords a full recharge in less than two-and-a-half hours using a conventional 220 V mains socket.
BMW i8 4WD can deploy power reserves through all four wheels for added traction and control, and uses a specially modified six-speed Steptronic transmission. Intelligent Energy Management and five driving modes are on offer: ‘D’ transmission setting in Comfort and Eco Pro mode, Sport mode and eDRIVE mode for all-electric driving (choice of Comfort and Eco Pro). BMW i8 always starts in Comfort mode. Sport mode kicks into gear added dynamics, and Eco pro increases driving range.