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Cars BMW i8 with doors open.

Published on September 12th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


2015 BMW i8 PHEV Priced At $135,925

At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled its first plug-in hybrid, which is the i8 sports coupe. The US price is set at $135,925. Decide whether you think this is justifiable after reading the specifications below, and leave a comment or two!

It is a two-door, two-seat car outfitted with full LED, laser headlights, as well as 20 inch wheels. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and can achieve a top speed which is electronically limited to 155 MPH.

This performance is partially attributable to a drag coefficient of 0.26, and the light 3,285-pound curb weight, which was achieved with its “LifeDrive” architecture, which consists of a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body (like what the i3 has) and an aluminium platform (aluminium is lighter than the traditional steel).

BMW i8 PHEV with doors open.
Image Credit:

It is equipped with a 362 HP powertrain that produces 420 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain consists of an electric motor and gasoline engine. The gasoline engine uses only three cylinders to generate 231 HP and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that 1.5 liter gasoline engine, which is mounted in the rear of the vehicle turns a 6-speed automatic transmission. Wow! That engine packs a punch!

The electric motor, which drives the front wheels, generates 96 kW (131 HP) of power (mechanical, not electricity), and 184 pound-feet of torque. In electric mode, this vehicle can travel 22 miles per charge, provided that velocity does not exceed 75 MPH.

Finally, the vehicle is equipped with a 5 kWh lithium-ion battery bank which the performance of this vehicle benefits from as well, as older hybrids had less powerful, heavier nickel-metal hydride battery banks. This 5 kWh pack achieves 4.4 miles per kWh, which is not bad for a vehicle weighed down by a gasoline engine.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • josetony

    It is too expensive. With that kind of money I can buy 2 Tesla’s model S. The BMW i8 is an expensive version of the GM Volt with nicer looks. They got it right with the BMW i3 model. But this one is only targeting the super high income people.

  • Eric Pruss

    I just noticed that the image is of the CONCEPT, NOT the pre-production car shown in Frankfurt today. See it here:

    and more photos here:

  • Wayne Williamson

    To the previous posters…..Its a very cool looking car…..

    • Eric Pruss

      not $135k worth of cool though.

    • Rich

      Agreed, it is a very good looking car. If it really gets 94 mpg from the gas engine, that’s amazing. I’m curious why this new engine isn’t being put in every car they have.

  • J_JamesM

    I’d still go for a Model S. It renders absolutely everything else redundant.

    • Rich

      I’m with James. I would buy a Tesla Model S over a BMW i8 PHEV. It’s a shame most car manufacturers don’t seem to understand that gasoline engines make cars undesirable (IMO).

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