BMW i8 To Become A All Electric Car
The giant German auto maker is set to drop the hybrid version of its BMW i8 and go all electric by 2018. The BMW i8, a sleek coupe under the i sub-brand, is set to make its debut later on in 2018. This may look like it will be a long wait, but, trust me, it will right here with us soon. Although it has not been officially communicated by the firm, insider sources cite that the German auto maker is keen on adding an all-electric model of BMW i8 to its already existing i3 hatchback and the soon to come i5.
How it will differ from the 2015 BMW i8 Hybrid
Initially, BMW i8 had already been designed as a full hybrid car. The powertrain has a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine and a single electric drive motor. The gasoline engine powers the rear wheels through a six speed auto transmission, while the electric motor is tasked with moving the front wheels using a stage two automatic gearbox.
In addition to this, the hybrid power train offers a horsepower of 357. The electric motor is powered by a lithium ion battery pack that has 7.1 kWh. This is a much smaller battery pack, extending from the car’s floor to its boot.
The new 2018 all electric powertrain is set to undergo significant changes. According to insiders at BMW, this prototype is expected to give only 242bhp but upon improvements it could attain a 267bhp. Two electric motors will replace the gasoline engine, hence help in moving the rear wheels in the long run.
Moreover, 2018 BMW i8 will have a larger battery pack, located on its floor. The 9.1 kilowatt hour lithium ion battery will power the two larger electric drive motors, synonymous with the X5 xDrive40e. In total, this powertrain will have 3 brushless electric motors which will help the car attain higher internal speeds in the long run.
Despite this changes, the 2018 powertrain will not weigh more than the current BMWi8, which tips the scale at 1485kg. An insider source claims that this car is under the Formula E safety project by BMW, set to deliver safer cars. The i8 electric powertrain will also rev far higher than those in currently produced by the auto giant.
The car will also enjoy an additional Gurney flap to help the air extractor cool the front mounted electric motor, placed in the bonnet. Its suspension is still work in progress, making the car ride at an additional height of 10mm. It will also use 245/35 profile front and 285/30 profile rear tyres, on 20 inch wheels.
Moreover, the rear section of the car has been reworked, with the reinforcement of a tailgate made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic. The tailgate has 8 air vents, replacing the traditional glass window in i8. There are also two heat extracting fans hidden on the exterior tailgate.
Features to Be Maintained
However, the car will maintain some of its interior and exterior design. Built as a 184.6 inches lengthwise, 76.5 inches in width and 51.0 inches tall, this car’s size surpasses its competitor Audi R8, by ten inches in width. BMW i8 electric car will also maintain the sculpted bumpers; front and rear in the long run.
The futuristic designed will remain. This features the LED lighting on its exterior, the stream flow C pillars that aid in airflow and dynamics. The scissors doors will wrap up the exterior look.
Coming to its interior, the many repeated curved lines will be maintained. The cabin’s upholstery is designed from a natural element that is ecofriendly treated. There will be a number of trimmed components, made from recycled fabric hence aligning the car to the i8 sustainability mission.
The Driving Experience Control switch will remain. This centre console offers various driving modes for the i8. There is standard COMFORT mod, giving drivers the balance between sporty performance and electric efficiency. SPORT mode will feature an ultra-intense boost function given by the 3 new electric motors.
It goes without saying that the 2018 all electric i8 will revolutionise the sports car segment. It will also compete with both gasoline and electric powered cars; Audi R8, Tesla Model S and Model X and Maserati GranTurismo among others. The current i8 hybrid goes for around £100,000. However, with the now fully electric powertrain, potential buyers may have to dig deeper into their pockets.