The BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid sports car developed by BMW. The i8 is part of BMW's electric fleet "Project i" being marketed as a new sub-brand, BMW i. The 2015 model year BMW i8 has a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that delivers an all-electric range of 37 km (23 mi) under the New European Driving Cycle. Under the United States Environmental Protection Agency cycle, the range in EV mode is 24 km (15 mi) with a small amount of gasoline consumption. Its design is heavily influenced by the BMW M1 Homage concept car, which in turn pays homage to BMW's last production mid-engined sports car prior to the i8: the BMW M1. BMW will cease the production of the BMW i8 in April 2020.[10][11]

BMW i8
2016 BMW i8.jpg
Also calledBMW Vision EfficientDynamics
AssemblyGermany: Saxony, Leipzig (BMW Group Plant Leipzig)
DesignerVision EfficientDynamics[7]
Benoit Jacob (production i8)[8]
Richard Kim (2011 i8 Concept)[9]
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style2-door coupé
2-door roadster
LayoutTransverse mid-engine, all-wheel-drive
DoorsButterfly doors
RelatedBMW i3
EngineB38A15T0 1.5L turbocharged I3 engine gasoline[1]
Electric motor98 kW (131 hp)[1]
TransmissionAisin F21-360 FT EOP
Battery7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery[2]
Range500 km (310 mi) in Comfort mode (NEDC)[5]
600 km (370 mi) in Eco Pro mode (NEDC)[1]
530 km (330 mi) (EPA)[6]
Electric range37 km (23 mi) (NEDC)[2]
24 km (15 mi) (EPA)[6]
Wheelbase2,800 mm (110 in)[3]
Length4,689 mm (184.6 in)[3]
Width1,942 mm (76.5 in)[3]
Height1,298 mm (51.1 in)[3]
Curb weight3,394 lb (1,539 kg)[4]
PredecessorBMW Vision EfficientDynamics (Concept)
BMW ActiveE
BMW M1 (spiritual)

The BMW i8 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds[12][13] and has an electronic limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The BMW i8 has a fuel efficiency of 2.1 L/100 km (134.5 mpg‑imp; 112.0 mpg‑US) under the NEDC test with carbon emissions of 49 g/km. The EPA rated the i8 combined fuel economy at 76 MPGe (3.1 L gasoline equivalent/100 km; 91 mpg-imp gasoline equivalent) and 29 miles per gallon (6.7L/100 km) when running in pure gasoline mode (after the battery is drained empty).

The initial turbodiesel concept car was unveiled at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany. The production version of the BMW i8 was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The i8 was released in Germany in June 2014.[14] Deliveries to retail customers in the U.S. began in August 2014. By early November 2016 global sales since mid-2014 totaled more than 10,000 BMW i8s, making the i8 the world's top selling plug-in electrified sports car. The top selling markets are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China and Canada.


First introduced as the Concept Vision EfficientDynamics, the i8 is part of BMW's "Project i" and it is being marketed as a new brand, BMW i, sold separately from BMW or Mini. The BMW i3, launched for retail customers in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2013, was the first model of the i brand available in the market, and it was followed by the i8, released in Germany in June 2014 as a 2015 model year. Other i models are expected to follow.[15][16][17]

The initial turbodiesel concept car was unveiled at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany,[18] In 2010, BMW announced the mass production of the Vision EfficientDynamics concept in Leipzig beginning in 2013 as the BMW i8.[19] The BMW i8 gasoline-powered concept car destined for production was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.[20] The production version of the BMW i8 was unveiled at the 2013 International Motor Show Germany.[21] The following are the concept and pre-production models developed by BMW that preceded the production version. When BMW i sponsored the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, they announced that they'd provide support vehicles, and the i8 currently operates as the official safety car.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics (2009)Edit

Vision EfficientDynamics concept vehicle unveiled at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car is a plug-in hybrid with a 1.5L three cylinder turbo-diesel engine.[18] Additionally, there are two electric motors with 139 hp (104 kW). It allows an acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).[19]

According to BMW, the average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle (KV01) is 3.76 liters/100 kilometers, (75.1 mpg imp), and has a carbon dioxide emission rating of 99 grams per kilometer (1,3 l/100 km and 33g CO2/kabelham ; EU-PHEV ECE-R101). The estimated all-electric range is 50 km (31 mi), and the 24-liter petrol tank extends the total vehicle range to up to 700 km (430 mi).[19] The lightweight chassis is made mainly from aluminum. The windshield, top, doors and fenders are made from polycarbonate glass, with the body having a drag coefficient of 0.22.[22][23]

The designers of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept were Mario Majdandzic for the exterior and Jochen Paesen for the interior.[24]

The vehicle was unveiled in the 2009 International Motor Show Germany,[25][26] followed by Auto China 2010.[27]

BMW i8 Concept (2011)Edit

BMW i8 Concept exhibited at the 2011 International Motor Show Germany.

The BMW i8 Concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicle includes an electric motor located in the front axle powering the front wheels rated 96 kW (131 PS; 129 hp) and 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft), a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine driving rear wheels rated 164 kW (223 PS; 220 hp) and 300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft) of torque, with combined output of 260 kW (354 PS; 349 hp) and 550 N⋅m (406 lb⋅ft), a 7.2 kWh (26 MJ) lithium-ion battery pack that allows an all-electric range of 35 km (22 mi). All four wheels provide regenerative braking. The location of the battery pack in the energy tunnel gives the vehicle a low centre of gravity, enhancing its dynamics. Its top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) and is expected to go from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 4.6 seconds. Under normal driving conditions the i8 is expected to deliver 80 mpg‑US (2.9 L/100 km; 96 mpg‑imp) under the European cycle. A full charge of the battery will take less than 2 hours using 220 V.[20][28] The positioning of the motor and engine over the axles results in optimum 50/50 weight distribution.[28][29][30]

The vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 International Motor Show Germany, followed by CENTER 548 in New York City,[31] 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011,[32] 82nd Geneva Motor Show 2012,[33] BMW i Born Electric Tour at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni at Via Nazionale 194 in Rome,[34] Auto Shanghai 2013.[35]

This concept car was featured in the film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

BMW i8 Concept Spyder (2012)Edit

BMW i8 Concept Spyder

The BMW i8 Concept Spyder included a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length over the BMW i8 Concept, carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) Life module, drive modules made primarily from aluminium components, interlocking of surfaces and lines, 8.8-inch (22.4 cm) screen display, off-white outer layer, orange tone naturally tanned leather upholstery.[36]

The vehicle was unveiled in Auto China 2012 in Beijing[37] and won Concept Car of the Year,[38][39][40] followed by 83rd Geneva International Motor Show 2013.[41] The designer of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder was Richard Kim.[9][42]

BMW i8 coupe prototype (2013)Edit

The design of the BMW i8 coupe prototype was based on the BMW i8 Concept. The BMW i8 prototype has an average fuel efficiency of less than 2.5 L/100 km (113.0 mpg‑imp; 94.1 mpg‑US) under the New European Driving Cycle with carbon emissions of less than 59 g/km. The i8 with its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell lightweight, aerodynamically optimized body, and BMW eDrive technology offers the dynamic performance of a sports car, with an expected 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint time of less than 4.5 seconds using both power sources. The plug-in hybrid system of the BMW i8 comprises a three-cylinder, 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower turbo gasoline engine combined with BMW eDrive technology used in the BMW i3 and develops maximum power of 170 kW (228 hp). The BMW i8 is the first BMW production model to be powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine and the resulting specific output of 115 kW (154 hp) per liter of displacement is on a par with high-performance sports car engines and is the highest of any engine produced by the BMW Group.[1]

BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept exhibited at the BMW i store in Park Lane, London.

The BMW i8's second power source is a hybrid synchronous electric motor specially developed and produced by the BMW Group for BMW i. The electric motor develops maximum power of 131 hp (96 kW) and produces its maximum torque of around 320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft) from standstill. Typical of an electric motor, responsive power is instantly available when starting and this continues into the higher load ranges. As well as providing a power boost to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration, the electric motor can also power the vehicle by itself. Top speed in electric mode is approximately 120 km/h (75 mph), with a maximum driving range of up to 35 km (22 mi). Linear acceleration is maintained even at higher speeds since the interplay between the two power sources efficiently absorbs any power flow interruptions when shifting gears. The model-specific version of the high-voltage 7.2 lithium-ion battery has a liquid cooling system and can be recharged at a conventional household power socket, at a BMW i Wallbox or at a public charging station. In the US a full recharge takes approximately 3.5 hours from a conventional 120 V, 12 amp household circuit or approximately 1.5 hours from a 220 V Level 2 charger.[1][43]

The driver can also select several driving modes: SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO. Using the gear selector, the driver can either select position D for automated gear selection or can switch to SPORT mode. SPORT mode offers manual gear selection and at the same time switches to very sporty drive and suspension settings. In SPORT mode, the engine and electric motor deliver extra performance, accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, SPORT mode also activates maximum energy recuperation during overrun and braking as the electric motor's generator function, which recharges the battery using kinetic energy, switches to a more powerful setting. The Driving Experience Control switch on the center console offers a choice of two settings. On starting, COMFORT mode is activated, which offers a balance between sporty performance and fuel efficiency, with unrestricted access to all convenience functions. Alternatively, the ECO PRO mode can be engaged, which, on the BMW i8 as on other models, supports an efficiency-optimized driving style. On this mode the powertrain controller coordinates the cooperation between the gasoline engine and the electric motor for maximum fuel economy. On deceleration, the intelligent energy management system automatically decides, in line with the driving situation and vehicle status, whether to recuperate braking energy or to coast with the powertrain disengaged. At the same time, ECO PRO mode also programs electrical convenience functions such as the air conditioning, seat heating and heated mirrors to operate at minimum power consumption, but without compromising safety. The maximum driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a fully charged battery is more than 500 km (310 mi) in COMFORT mode, which can be increased by up to 20% in ECO PRO mode. The BMW i8's ECO PRO mode can also be used during all-electric operation. The vehicle is then powered solely by the electric motor. Only if the battery charge drops below a given level, or under sudden intense throttle application such as kickdown, is the internal combustion engine automatically activated.

The vehicle was unveiled in BMW Group's Miramas test track in France.[1][44]

Production versionEdit

BMW i8 frontal view (production model)
BMW i8 rear view (production model)

The production BMW i8 was designed by Benoit Jacob.[8] The production version was unveiled at the 2013 International Motor Show Germany,[16] followed by 2013 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.[45] It features butterfly doors, head-up display, rear-view cameras and partially false engine noise.[46] Series production of customer vehicles began in April 2014.[2] The electric two-speed drivetrain is developed and produced by GKN.[47][48][49] It is the first production car with laser headlights, reaching further than LED lights.[50]

The i8 has a vehicle weight of 1,485 kg (3,274 lb) (DIN kerb weight) and a low drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26. In all-electric mode the BMW i8 has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). In Sport mode the i8 delivers a mid-range acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph) in 2.6 seconds. The electronically controlled top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph).[2]

Range and fuel economyEdit

The production i8 has a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a usable capacity of 5.2 kWh and intelligent energy management that delivers an all-electric range of 37 km (23 mi) under the NEDC cycle. Under the EPA cycle, the range in EV mode is 15 mi (24 km), with a gasoline consumption of 0.1 gallons per 100 mi, and as a result, EPA's all-electric range is zero. The total range is 330 mi (530 km).[6]

The production version has a fuel efficiency of 2.1 L/100 km (134.5 mpg‑imp; 112.0 mpg‑US) under the NEDC test with carbon emissions of 49 g/km.[2] Under EPA cycle, the i8 combined fuel economy in EV mode was rated 76 equivalent (MPG-equivalent) (3.1 L gasoline equivalent/100 km; 91 mpg-imp gasoline equivalent), with an energy consumption of 43 kW-hrs/100 mi and gasoline consumption of 0.1 gal-US/100 mi. The combined fuel economy when running only with gasoline is 28 mpg‑US (8.4 L/100 km; 34 mpg‑imp) for city driving, and 29 mpg‑US (8.1 L/100 km; 35 mpg‑imp) in highway.[6][51]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2014 edition of the "Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends" introduced utility factors for plug-in hybrids to represent the percentage of miles that will be driven using electricity by an average driver, in electric only or blended modes. The BMW i8 roadster has a utility factor in EV mode of 37%, compared with 83% for the BMW i3 REx, 66% for the Chevrolet Volt, 65% for the Cadillac ELR, 45% for the Ford Energi models, 43% for the McLaren P1, 39% for the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, and 29% for the Toyota Prius PHV.[52]

In autumn 2018, the battery was upgraded to 11.8 kWh, with a usable 9.4 kWh.


Model Years Type/code Power Torque
2014–2018 1,499 cc (91.5 cu in) I3 turbo B38A15T0 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) at 5800 rpm 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) at 3700
hybrid synchronous motor 131 PS (96 kW; 129 hp) 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 0 rpm
Combined 362 PS (266 kW; 357 hp) 570 N⋅m (420 lb⋅ft) at 0 rpm
Model Years Type/code Power Torque
2018– 1,499 cc (91.5 cu in) I3 turbo B38A15T0 231 PS (170 kW; 228 hp) at 5800 rpm 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) at 3700
hybrid synchronous motor 143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp) at 4800 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 0 rpm
Combined 374 PS (275 kW; 369 hp) 570 N⋅m (420 lb⋅ft) at 0 rpm

Special editionEdit

The special-edition BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition model was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show.[53] The Protonic Red Edition will be produced at BMW Plant Leipzig from July 2016. This special edition car sports a Protonic Red paint finish with accents in Frozen Grey metallic. The colour scheme is complemented by BMW W-spoke 470 light-alloy wheels painted in Orbit Grey metallic with hubs painted in Aluminium matt and mixed-size tires (front: 215/45 R20, rear: 245/40 R20). Inside the car features red double-stitching and applications in high-grade carbon fibre and ceramic trim.[54]


2018 BMW i8 Roadster

The BMW i8 Spyder concept was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. In October 2016, BMW announced that the roadster variant would be added to the BMW i line-up in 2018.[55][56]

The i8 Roadster increases battery capacity to 11.6 kWh[57] and the vehicle has only 2 seats. The car's roof is an electric 2-piece unit, which neatly folds into the space where the rear seats would normally be.

Sales and marketsEdit

2014 BMW i8 interior

BMW originally planned to sell the i8 in about 50 countries, with the U.S. expected to be the largest sales market. In Europe, BMW expected the UK, Germany and France to be the top markets.[58] On November 14, 2013, BMW announced they are taking orders for the i8 in Japan. Pricing starts at ¥19,170,000 (US$191,500) which includes the 8% consumption tax.[59]

Global deliveries to retail customers totaled 1,741 units in 2014,[60] and 5,456 in 2015,[61] totaling cumulative sales of 7,197 units worldwide through December 2015.[60][61] In 2015 global sales of the BMW i8 exceeded the combined figure of all other hybrid sports cars produced by other manufacturers.[54] The United States is the leading market with 4,108 units delivered through October 2016,[62][63][64] followed by the UK with about 1,700 units sold through October 2016,[65] and Germany with 986 i8s registered through September 2016.[66][67][68] Since mid-2014 more than 10,000 BMW i8s have been sold worldwide by early November 2016, representing 10% of BMW global electrified model sales, and making the i8 the world's top selling plug-in electrified sports car.[69]

Year 2014 2015 2014-15
Units sold 1,741[60] 5,456[61] 7,197


Deliveries in Australia for the i8 commenced in March 2015 priced at $299,000 AUD.[70] 50 local examples of the i8 are allocated for Australia, with 15 of those already accounted for.[71] Unlike international sales process where the i3 and i8 are sold at dedicated BMW i Stores, Australia has six dedicated dealers across the country that will be authorised to sell the i8. Dealerships include BMW Melbourne (Southbank), BMW Sydney (Rushcutters Bay), Brisbane BMW (Fortitude Valley), Perth Auto Classic (Victoria Park), Adelaide BMW (South Australian Capital) and Rolfe Classic (Phillip, Australian Capital Territory).[71]

Service and repair facilities for the BMW i8 will be available at 11 authorised BMW dealers around Australia.


Pricing in China starts at CN¥1.988 million (~US$323,000).[72] Initially, sales of the BMW i brand vehicles are limited to seven dealerships in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Shenyang. BMW expects combined sales of around 1,000 units for its i3 and i8 models through December 2014.[73]


BMW introduced four variants of i8 in the Indian market in February 2015.[74] This was the costliest offering from BMW in the country at a price of INR 2.29 Crore (ex-showroom). The car is sold through exclusive BMW i dealerships established in the cities of Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.[74][75]


A total of 61 units were delivered in Europe in June 2014, its first month in the market.[76] IHS Automotive predicts that just over 1,700 BMW i8s will be sold in Europe in 2015.[77]

Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2013-2017 Total
Units 41[78] 1,133[78] 2,056[78] 1,517[78] 988[79] 7,252

European sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.[80]

BMW i8 plug-in hybrid in Germany

The i8 is available in Madrid since 2016.[81]


The i8 was released in Germany in June 2014,[15] with pricing starting at €126,000 (~US$169,000).[82] As of September 2016, registrations totaled 986 units.[66][67][68]


Deliveries began in June 2014, and a total of 64 units were registered in 2014. Cumulative sales reached 117 units through June 2015.[83]

United Kingdom

Deliveries started in the UK in July 2014, with pricing starting at GB£99,845.[84] The BMW i8 qualifies for exemption from the London congestion charge, which is one of the factors driving its demand.[77] The BMW i8 was eligible for the government's GB£5,000 Plug-in Car Grant until February 2016.[85] Despite being classified as category 2 vehicle, due to its purchase price the BMW i8 is no longer eligible for a grant. As part of changes implemented by the government to the grant scheme, from March 2016 plug-in vehicles with a retail price over GB£60,000 are ineligible for a grant.[86]

Two weeks after deliveries began, the i8 was sold out in the UK, and, by August 2014, there was a 10-month waiting list.[77] By the end of February 2015 there was a 9-month waiting list.[87] A total of 1,307 units were registered by the end of June 2016.[88] As of October 2016, about 1,700 i8s have been sold in the UK since mid-2014, making the British market the largest in Europe.[65]

United StatesEdit

BMW i8 production version exhibited at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Pricing for the BMW i8 destined for the U.S. market starts at US$135,925 including destination and handling fees and before any applicable government incentives.[5] First deliveries to retail customers in the U.S. took place at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 15.[89] In order to commemorate the i8's American launch, a 2014 BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition was auctioned during Gooding & Company’s annual Pebble Beach Auctions. This special edition car features BMW Individual Frozen Grey Metallic exterior paint, a Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery, trim accents in BMW i Blue, and other unique features. The car was sold for US$825,000 (€616,000 or GB£495,000) on August 16, 2014, six times the retail price of the i8. The proceedings go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation.[90]

Sales in 2015 reached 2,265 units, up 308.1% from 2014.[63] A total of 1,288 units were sold between January and October 2016.[64] Cumulative sales totaled 4,108 units through October 2016.[62][63][64]

U.S. Sales figuresEdit

Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2014-2018 Total
Units 555[91] 2,265[91] 1,594[91] 488[92] 772[93] 5,674

Awards and recognitionEdit

In July 2012 the BMW i8 won the 2012 North American Concept Vehicle of the Year.[94] The BMW i8 Spyder won the 2013 Best Production Preview Vehicle award.[95] The i8 won AutoGuide's 2015 Reader's Choice Green Car of the Year.[96] BMW's i8 has been the winner of the coveted title ‘World Green car of the Year’ at Fame India Eco Drive 2015[97] It also was selected as Autoblog's 2014 Technology of the Year.[98] Top Gear Magazine awarded the i8 with their coveted Car of the Year award for 2014.[99] Green Car Journal awarded the BMW i8 with its 2015 Luxury Green Car of the Year.[100] The i8 won the UK Car of the Year 2015 and also UK Performance Car of the Year 2015.[87] The World Car of the Year organization declared the i8 as the winner of the 2015 World Green Car Award.[101]


Louis Vuitton produced a series of carbon-black luggage for BMW i8, which included Weekender GM i8, Garment Bag i8, Business Case i8, Weekender PM i8. The luggage series went on sale in a selection of Louis Vuitton stores worldwide (Munich, Milan, London, Paris, Moscow, Dubai, New York, Los Angeles) starting April 1, 2014.[102]

See alsoEdit


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