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2015 BMW i8 hybrid sports car details revealed

BMW i8 galleryThe new i3 electric hatch isn’t the only i-badged BMW we’ll be seeing this year; another is a new i8 plug-in hybrid sports car that will not only top the i range of cars but also serve as BMW’s flagship. We were given our first taste of the i8 four years ago, when BMW rolled out its Vision EfficientDynamics concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show.

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Since then we’ve seen the concept’s design revised, a convertible Spyder unveiled, and numerous prototype versions testing around the globe. Soon, we’ll see the production i8 revealed, as BMW has confirmed the car’s appearance at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in just over a month.

In a lead up to its debut, BMW has provided details on the car’s technology and specifications. As we already know, the i8 features a sophisticated drivetrain that pairs a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with an electric motor.

The engine is used to drive the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission while the electric motor powers the front pair via an integrated two-stage auto ‘box. However, both power sources can work together to form a through-the-road all-wheel-drive setup.

The engine develops a peak 170kW while the electric motor rates in at 96kW. Maximum system output is 266kW and 570Nm, which is said to be enough for 0-100km/h acceleration in under 4.5 seconds — and that, friends, is Porsche 911 Carrera territory. Like most BMWs, top speed of the i8 will be governed to 250km/h.

On electric power alone, top speed is limited to 120km/h and BMW predicts a driving range of 35km. On a mix of electric-only and hybrid modes, BMW says i8 owners can expect a fuel economy of around 2.5L/100km for the Euro-measured combined cycle.]

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