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      05-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
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Drives: F80 M3
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Lightbulb BMW i8 Mule Heads to German Countryside to Thaw and Develop

BMW i8 Mule Heads to German Countryside to Thaw and Test
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Last we saw the BMW i8 hybrid sports coupe prototype it was being tested during the dead of winter in Northern Sweden. It's now Spring and the i8 mule is being tested in the much more pleasant settings of Southern Germany.

The camouflage remains the same as before, but with these clear prototype i8 photos and the recently revealed i8 Spyder Concept, we already have a pretty good idea of the size, proportions, stance, and styling details of the 2014 i8 production car. It will resemble the car seen in the renders posted below.

Powertrain and Sales Target:

The concept i8 specs should give a great idea of what to expect for the production i8 model. The concept i8 features a high performance 3-cylinder petrol engine (164 kW) in rear with i3's electric motor (limited to 96 kW) in front, resulting in total torque of 550 Nm (300Nm petrol engine + 250 Nm electric motor).

Here are the concept i8's previously released vitals (subject to change in the production model, of course):
  • 3-cylinder petrol engine (164kw) in rear with i3's electric motor (limited to 96 kW) in front
  • 550 Nm (300Nm petrol engine + 250 Nm electric motor)
  • 3 driving modes - electric, petrol, or both engines at once
  • 1,480 kg
  • 0-100kph (62mph): 4.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 250kph (limited)
  • 2.7 L/100km fuel economy
  • 35km pure electric range
  • 4 seater
  • 50:50 distribution
  • Market Launch: 2014
Sales and price targets for the i8 are yet undetermined, although it is known that the production i8 will launch in 2014. According to Ian Robertson, BMW’s global sales and marketing boss, "Our sales will strongly depend on legislation. Not only by big markets like the U.S. or China, but by local city authorities and their terms of taxation," Robertson said. "If a city like Amsterdam or London decides that you get a tax reduction, then sales will boost."

BMW i8 Prototype

Renders (by Behance):

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Some previous videos of the i8 prototype and i8 Spyder Concept: