Who else other than BMW makes a sports car with a three-cylinder engine? If there are, it’s not as impactful as the i8, let me tell you that. And none looks as striking as the i8, too. It seems that the newly launched facelifted BMW i8 will have no trouble in maintaining this stature…
The thing about the i8 is that it is the perfect blend of two important BMW qualities – the ‘traditional’ one that puts driving enjoyment above almost everything else; the other being more modern. The one which required the formation of the entirely new sub-brand ‘i’ to push forward the company’s vision of sustainable and progressive mobility.
The 2+2-seater stands out with its proportions, lines and surface design mark. The flat bonnet, visible aerodynamics measures, short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large track widths and an elongated roofline create an aura of dynamism, lightness and efficiency. As mentioned during the launch, the i8 is probably the only vehicle which received very little change from its prototype form (as seen in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) right up to production stage.
The new car is much sleeker than before, with a far more complex body with its intricately shaped angles. It turns out that it’s all functional and meant for aerodynamic efficiency and cooling needs. Air at the front of the car (as it moves) is rerouted to the sides of the bumper before it escapes near the wheel arch and into the underbody.
As before, the 1.5-litre engine applies 231hp/320Nm to the rear tyres via a six-speed steptronic gearbox, with electric motors kicking in power to the front wheels from a two-speed automatic. The engine and electric motor combines to provide 374hp, delivering a 0-100kph time of just 4.4 seconds. How efficient is the system? BMW claims 1.8L/100km. According to BMW, they’ve also made the i8 sound sportier than before.
The electric motor output has increased by 9 kW to 105 kW, and the electric range now extends to 55 kilometres, broadening the reach of all-electric mobility well beyond the city limits.
The refreshed BMW i8 is priced at RM1.3 million.