2013 BMW Show - BMW I8 and i3 On Road, megacity vehicles starting with the compact i3 town automotive and sleek i8 sports automotive.
The idea behind i is to require driving to efficiencies not nevertheless seen, employing a combination of progressive carbon-fiber construction and zero-emission electrical propulsion. And, as BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer secure back in 2010, i cars can have enough monetary initiatives to create it attainable for anyone with the straightforward ought to get from A to B to urge in on the action.
The i3 and i8 spearhead BMW i's entry purpose. the previous is for town use with AN all-electric driveline, the latter may be a gas-electric hybrid -- the performance automotive.
These cars can create their world debut in production semblance later this year. Autoweek joined AN engineering team golf shot final winter-test miles on near-to-production mules in extreme northern Kingdom of Sweden. way off from AN automobile show's elegance, it's here on snow-strewn roads and underneath frigid temperatures that BMW's new i cars should prove themselves before they'll be referred to as salesroom prepared.
i3 -- Urban Driving Goes hi-tech
We hit BMW's take a look at center in Arjeplog, ground zero of the eu automotive industry's winter take a look at activities. The i3 exits the workshop 1st. planned primarily for town use, it's 4.7 inches longer and five.2 inches above a mini Cooper. It conjointly boasts seven.1 cubical feet of bags house behind the rear seats, 1.4 cubical feet over its British sib.
When North yankee sales begin in 2014, there'll be 2 versions of the i3, each running an electrical drivetrain just like the 1-series ActiveE's: A rear-mounted motor providing 168 power unit and 184 lb-ft of force to the rear wheels via a set gear transmission.
A lithium-ion battery mounted within the flat floor provides energy. It is charged by plugging it in and by recuperated kinetic electricity created on the run. BMW says vary is 139 miles on the eu take a look at procedure, or between eighty and one hundred miles planet. AN eighty % charge employing a 400-volt system takes AN hour.
Alongside the work unit, BMW can provide a range-extender choice with a 650cc two-cylinder ICE borrowed from its C650 GT step-through motorbike. it's designed to start out up once the battery level drops to a specific purpose. The two-cylinder acts solely as a generator to supply electricity, extending the i3 vary to regarding 186 miles.
Pricing hasn't been declared, and sure will not be till the i3's public premiere at this fall's Frankfurt on the Main motor show, however our guess is somewhere around $45,000. BMW thinks most i3s are going to be chartered as a part of its Drive currently initiative, wherever participants swap their i3 for a a lot of typical BMW once needed.
The i3 is tall, a giant departure from existing BMWs, however once you see it up shut it's like one. normal 19-inch wheels, chosen partly to supply great-er clearance for the battery mounted within the floor, area unit shod with slim low-rolling-resistance tires. Twenty-inch rims are going to be AN choice.
The i3 has no B-pillar, that the carbon-fiber structure is stiff; as we have a tendency to swing the frameless front entrance open, we have a tendency to understand this can be a automotive you climb up into.
The automotive currently has coach-style rear doors, whereas the initial i3 thought undraped at the 2011 Frankfurt on the Main show didn't. These create it straightforward to urge in and out, and BMW deems this necessary to create its new town automotive a hit. they assist ease entry to the rear, and, not like the mini Clubman, they are on each side, not simply the proper.
The interior is clean and tidy. there's no center stack. All controls, as well as a short gearshift germination from the steering column and 2 digital screens, area unit focused on the horizontal dash, releasing house between the motive force and traveler, and providing a sense of real house. Visibility is great.
Our chauffeur is Apostle Mueller, BMW i drivetrain development chief. He says the i3 is far just like the 1-series ActiveE in overall character, with a heavily sprung throttle, instant acceleration and aggressive recovery mode aimed toward convalescent the maximum amount K.E. as attainable. "[This] can set our cars with the exception of the electric-car competition," he suggests. once he backs off the throttle, the electrical motor acts as a generator, providing enough stopping power; brakes area unit seldom needed. it is so aggressive, BMW has programmed the semiconductor diode brake lights to illuminate once you raise the throttle.
The image we're riding in feels solid, even though there's the odd rattle from the disguise-covered components of the inside. What very grabs our attention is its overall nimbleness and, in attempting conditions with those slim tires, wonderful traction. looking Mueller thread the image down slippery lanes, over low-traction hills and around parking tons, the automotive seems to possess all the qualities needed to create it suited to town use, as well as an honest turning circle.
We won't drive production versions till later this year. For now, we will say the i3 won't solely offer sensible manoeuvrability, however ought to be fairly amusing.
Weighing 2,756 pounds, it accelerates imposingly, due to the electrical motor delivering instant force. Straight-line performance is on par with the mini Cooper S, BMW claiming 0-62 mph in seven.2 seconds and 50-75 mph in six.0. prime speed are going to be restricted to around ninety three mph.
From the traveler seat, it feels virtually colorful due to the electrical motor residing low down at the rear inside the shaft assembly. this provides it a lower center of gravity than typical cars.
Mueller whips the compact hatchback for 2 laps around an enormous skid pad with AN containerful of opposite lock and oversteer while not ever backing off. "Despite the electrification of the drivetrain, it remains faithful the BMW philosophy in terms of its dynamic character," he offers with a smile.
i8 -- twenty first Century Supercar?
The i8 can headline the i-car lineup once it goes on sale in 2014. planned as an alternate to today's sports cars, the sleek new machine aims to supply the simplest of all worlds: a Porsche 911's straight-line performance and also the reasonably fuel economy that may create the Volkswagen Up look thirsty.
This is BMW's alternative-drive image leader, and it's the half. just like the i3, the i8 has undergone delicate changes in look since it had been 1st shown as an idea in 2010. There area unit new headlamps, a a lot of formal version of BMW's ancient urinary organ grille, and also the long doors have swapped their butterfly hinges for typical front ones.
The i8's interior is pure sports automotive. You sit low along with your legs stream ahead. The seats area unit gently cushiony. The deep however low dashboard is distinguished. The instrument housing has graphics that modification looking on the driving mode, going from a peaceful blue in eco-pro and luxury to a racier orange hue in sport mode. mesmeric.
As with the i3, the i8 relies around a carbon-fiber structure -- it'll weigh three,263 pounds in production. not like the i3, the i8 uses a plug-in gas-electric hybrid system for performance. In less severe weather, it'd begin in electrical mode.
A turbocharged one.5-liter three-cylinder direct-injection ICE powers the automotive. it is the same engine we have a tendency to tested last year in a very 1-series image and can be within the next-generation mini. the primary of these can bow at this year's la show.
Mounted transversally behind the spacious cabin, the aluminum-block three-cylinder develops 220 power unit and 221 lb-ft of force, channeled to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic case. It's boisterous, emitting a particular three-cylinder hum that gets deeper, louder and a lot of distinguished as engine speeds rise.
The internal-combustion engine isn't the sole propulsion supply, of course: an electrical motor shared with the i3 sits up front, causation a further one hundred thirty power unit and 184 lb-ft to the front wheels. there is conjointly a second smaller motor mounted at the rear next to the combustion engine, manufacturing five power unit and three lb-ft. whereas it will offer drive to the rear wheels, its primary purpose is as AN generator and/or generator, looking on that driving mode is chosen: eco-pro, comfort or sport.
All told, there is 350 power unit on faucet for a power-to-weight magnitude relation higher than BMW's Z4 sDrive35i; however the 405 lb-ft of force leaves the largest impression. once Jos van As, head of chassis development for all BMW models, knocks the gearshift left to interact sport mode and throws the throttle open, acceleration is spectacular. All 3 power sources area unit engaged, and BMW's claims of 0-62 mph in four.6 seconds, 50-75 mph in four.0 seconds and a 155-mph prime speed do not feel optimistic. In fact, we have a tendency to would not be shocked if the definitive performance figures to be disclosed nearer to its launch next year area unit even sharpie.
BMW is most pleased with the i8's wonderful fuel economy. Nothing's official nevertheless, however the corporate hints at a combined eighty seven.1-mpg (U.S.) average -- a figure that blows away each production BMW model.
Rushing on snow-clad roads, we have a tendency to notice AN E-mode button on the middle tunnel. Van As punches it and also the drive method goes from gas-electric to any or all electrical -- a lithium-ion battery pack mounted within the center tunnel providing the ability. it's a neat trick, permitting silent journeys of up to twenty two miles on battery alone.
Leaving the BMW take a look at track and heading out on public roads, the sleek interaction between the 3 power sources is noteworthy: the result, van As says, of numberless hours spent processing the i8's electronic algorithms.
"It's an important a part of hybrid drivetrain development, and one thing we've place an excellent deal of effort into perfecting," he says. "It's a part of the rationale why we have a tendency to set from the kickoff to stay all electronic development in-house and retain the belongings rights for ourselves."
It's spectacular the manner the i8's advanced drivetrain switches from hybrid (all 3 power sources used) to pure electrical mode (just one power source) at the press of a button. In hybrid mode, all four wheels area unit driven. In electrical, the automotive is front-wheel drive. It sounds remarkably advanced, however you'd ne'er realize it, such is that the seamless interaction.
Further impressions? whereas it's beaked as a sports automotive, the i8's ride is great, as comfy because the forthcoming 4-series machine. Van As says the corporate is aware some customers can use the i8 on a daily basis. "It has to provide ample low-speed compliance for commutation, together with the management needed at higher speeds," he says.
We hear the i8 can price regarding $120,000 in production. that is Porsche 911 Carrera four territory. is that the i8 ok to battle the mighty Porsche? it'll be a minimum of a year before we have a tendency to get to steer the i8 ourselves. Then we'll be ready to answer that question with real confidence. however once our short ride, it's clear the automotive isn't solely quick, however with real rear seats and five.3 cubical feet of bags house, it's conjointly usable. With a pliant ride, it'll be comfy enough to use on a daily basis.