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      08-07-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
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Another 2015 BMW i8 drive review (Autoblog)

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Full review - http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/07/2...-drive-review/

Parts that made an impression. I'm likin that seating position. Doesn't look too low for such a low slung car.

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We tried all modes, of course, and while BMW still has six months to refine the few remaining issues on these validation test prototypes, the more we drove the i8, the more the huge financial investment required hit us as a brave yet valid move by BMW. Whether in its most timid coffee-fetching eMode+Eco Pro setup or in Sport with DSC off, you'll be happy with what you're feeling if our happiness is anything to go by. A full recharge from the (not included) wall box given the smaller capacities of the lithium-ion battery, takes just two hours.
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Electric range can vary widely based on how the i8 is driven, of course, and the topmost speed allowed for the e-motor/front-wheel-drive mode is 75 mph. With everything up and running, though, top speed is let out to 155 mph, and acceleration to 60 mph can happen in under 4.5 seconds. That's pretty great for a "boring old" hybrid, we'd say. And the feeling while doing all of this in the sport seat is almost-M-sensation terrific. The steering is ultra-electrified, yet at the same time, very precise. When switching to Sport, the dampers automatically switch to a more rigid setting, yet we enjoyed the ride over both smooth surfaces and imperfect pavement. Braking – quite the regenerative affair, of course – is immediate and sure, aided by the standard, very light and aero-friendly forged 20-inch wheels.
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We had just a few pieces of constructive criticism for BMW's assembled team in hopes that they'll improve the car even moreso. Firstly, the iDrive display is currently almost useless in any sort of sun due to its forward placement and cobalt blue typeface. Second, programming for the six-speed automatic attached to the 1.5-liter is fine in all aspects except at the extremes of its envelope, and it needs a 7,000-rpm redline to better suit the gearing and the exhaust's character. And finally, we wanted better summer tires – ours were the optional 215-width front and 245-rear Bridgestone Potenzas. Dynamics were really hot overall from this relatively lightweight, stiff, and extremely low-center-of-gravity BMW i, but it needed just a tick more help at the corners from the rubber.
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      08-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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Nice!!

Thanks for posting!
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      08-07-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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These pictures are great--really like this viewpoint of how "different" everything underneath really is.

Does anyone else think those tires look somewhat skinny?
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      08-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dmboone25 View Post
Does anyone else think those tires look somewhat skinny?
Decreased rolling resistance to boost mpg.
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      08-07-2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by italyix View Post
Decreased rolling resistance to boost mpg.
Oh I get it--that was mentioned specifically in the other review--just looks funny when they show that viewpoint, especially when you consider the wheels themselves are 20s.

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      08-07-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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With the tech that goes into this car, maybe the LCI will get a holographic projector that makes the tires look fatter
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      08-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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this is the makings of a great sports car
maybe an M1 version?

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      08-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddk632 View Post
With the tech that goes into this car, maybe the LCI will get a holographic projector that makes the tires look fatter
Sure, lets do all the following so a customer doesn't feel bad about spending upwards of $100K on a car like this:

- Make the tires look fatter with some holographic technology
- Fake engine sounds to make you feel you're getting your money's worth (already done)
- Every time you enter the car, you get a whiff of weed so you feel you're driving a true sports car with a V10/12/16
- An animated tree grows in your center console screen so you can feel good about saving the Earth

I suppose you can add more technology to make a customer not feel bad about spending so much money. I don't know, but for the same cost, there are far better options.
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      08-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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There are obviously some good technologies here, but this is not the kind of car I want to drive especially at such a high price point.

If in the US we will have to drive cars that get 55 MPG, then heaven help us and a lot of people will have to take the bus.
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      08-07-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver
There are obviously some good technologies here, but this is not the kind of car I want to drive especially at such a high price point.

If in the US we will have to drive cars that get 55 MPG, then heaven help us and a lot of people will have to take the bus.
Oh well they will force you to drive such cars with the fuel cost going up, more restriction on emissions, taxes for high polluting cars, taxes for powerful vehicles... Looks at what is happening here in Europe.
BMW is forced to produce cars like the i3 or i8 because they need to create the know-how of building cars with different type of fuels, or in 10 years they will buy the necessary technologies from other carmakers.




Btw the i8 seems to be a wonderful looking car, it's a huge wast they don't build a normal version.
If they putted an high power M engine in that carbon fiber beauty it could have been a rival for Audi R8, the new Gallardo or the McLaren 12c.
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      08-07-2013, 08:27 PM   #11
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Leo, I agree. This is about creating technologies in house so BMW does not have to buy them later. The situation here in the USA is different as the push for efficiency is on the vehicle design side. Fuel here is cheap compared to Europe.

What scares me is there will be no room for high performance vehicles at anything less than astronomical prices in this brave new world.
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      08-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #12
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plenty of room for improvement that's what I take from the review. let's wait for the end product
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      08-07-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver
There are obviously some good technologies here, but this is not the kind of car I want to drive especially at such a high price point.

If in the US we will have to drive cars that get 55 MPG, then heaven help us and a lot of people will have to take the bus.
Not a big issue, diesel cars give amazing mileage...look at 320d, it gives around 50mpg if driven properly.
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      08-07-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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very cool. I am really getting into the "i's". very cool technology and I am excited to see whatelse comes out about it.

we have opted to become a i dealership so I have been following all these post very closely. so far so good
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      08-08-2013, 12:04 AM   #15
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So where is all this electricity coming from?

According to the DMV, there are about 27million cars and trucks in California, http://dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf.

In San Diego where I live, during summer months we don't have enough electricity to keep our lights on and routinely have blackouts due to lack of electrical supply. Imagine if those 27m vehicles were electric how much greater the electrical drain would be.

And if we could meet demand, how would it be done? Coal plants? Nuclear? And what consequences are we creating for ourselves by doing so? I'm not so sure electric is a panacea, but correct me if I'm wrong.
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      08-08-2013, 12:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
So where is all this electricity coming from?

According to the DMV, there are about 27million cars and trucks in California, http://dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf.

In San Diego where I live, during summer months we don't have enough electricity to keep our lights on and routinely have blackouts due to lack of electrical supply. Imagine if those 27m vehicles were electric how much greater the electrical drain would be.

And if we could meet demand, how would it be done? Coal plants? Nuclear? And what consequences are we creating for ourselves by doing so? I'm not so sure electric is a panacea, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Absolutely agreed!
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      08-08-2013, 04:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraggy
So where is all this electricity coming from?

According to the DMV, there are about 27million cars and trucks in California, http://dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf.

In San Diego where I live, during summer months we don't have enough electricity to keep our lights on and routinely have blackouts due to lack of electrical supply. Imagine if those 27m vehicles were electric how much greater the electrical drain would be.

And if we could meet demand, how would it be done? Coal plants? Nuclear? And what consequences are we creating for ourselves by doing so? I'm not so sure electric is a panacea, but correct me if I'm wrong.
+1000.

All they're doing is moving the emissions - assuming there's a power plant with capacity in the first place... And how "green" is burning coal?
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      08-08-2013, 08:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
So where is all this electricity coming from?

According to the DMV, there are about 27million cars and trucks in California, http://dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf.

In San Diego where I live, during summer months we don't have enough electricity to keep our lights on and routinely have blackouts due to lack of electrical supply. Imagine if those 27m vehicles were electric how much greater the electrical drain would be.

And if we could meet demand, how would it be done? Coal plants? Nuclear? And what consequences are we creating for ourselves by doing so? I'm not so sure electric is a panacea, but correct me if I'm wrong.
agree

Whats more some scientist in Poland made a calculation and it turns out that traditional gasoline casue less environment damage than hydrogen... Production process of hydrogen fuel emit more CO2 than production and usage of gasoline and disel

So does your BMW hydrogen7 is really environmentally friendly car?
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      08-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #19
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Not a big issue, diesel cars give amazing mileage...look at 320d, it gives around 50mpg if driven properly.
But it still runs on dead dinosaurs.

Don't get me wrong. I can't get the thought out of my head: what if BMW stripped out the heavy batteries and relied solely on weight savings and a compact turbocharged petrol/diesel engine? CFRP has such tremendous weight savings potential, it's a forgone conclusion that the cars would be incredible, but this is an investment in BMW's future, not its present.

What we desperately need is a battery revolution. Lithium-air and Zinc-air batteries look promising, but they've both got huge challenges to adoption outside a laboratory. Petrol is still far superior from an effective energy density perspective. Just look at the REX option for the i3. A briefcase-sized tank of petrol more than doubles the range of the car. That's so incredibly disheartening for me.

I really want an electric car. Unfortunately, only Tesla seems focused on a zero-compromise approach. Yes, the Model S does make some compromises, but their design is conceptually pure electric. I consider the inclusion of a petrol engine a far larger compromise than any Tesla has made.

The design language of the BMW i line up is a winner. I really feel like BMW is delivering a design from 5 years in to the future, but with a driveline that drags a 100+ year old anchor along for the ride
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      08-08-2013, 11:23 AM   #20
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This seems like it might be a nice car when it does come to market.

In truth, however, I'm not sure about my feelings regarding EVs or hybrids. On one hand, I recognize they offer efficiency benefits that surpass that of petro-chemically powered vehicles. And I accept that electricity is cheaper than gasoline or diesel. (Scientific American says that electricity costs what amounts to 75 a gallon.) So, over a long enough period or driving enough miles, one could get one's money's worth out of spending the extra money it costs up front to buy an EV or hybrid. On the other hand, however, it seems like battery powered vehicles is an interim step between what we have now and powering just about everything via a completely renewable energy source.

Yes, yes, I know, baby steps. But babies need baby steps, do whole economies and systems? I cannot help but wonder if the resources devoted to electric vehicle technology would not be better invested to simply go directly to the end state goal. I know that's not often possible or plausible, but in this particular case, I don't really know.

The other thing that somewhat disturbs me is the fact that the efficiency gains will be available first to the wealthy and not-quite-wealthy folks who in fact are the ones least in need of the overall reduction in costs. I know that historically, that's always how it's been with most any advances in technology; however, when the matter driving the movement is environmental sustainability and national economic soundness, I can't help but think that a solution that is readily available to a much broader spectrum of the population isn't a better approach. Even now, the cheapest EVs and hybrids, forget BMW's versions, are still priced well above what the average consumer can pay for a car. Yet, it's the average consumers' use of efficient vehicles that will make the difference to the economy and environment. (Please don't infer any Marxist leanings from that statement; that's not where I intended to direct any lines of discussion.)
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      08-08-2013, 11:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
So where is all this electricity coming from?

According to the DMV, there are about 27million cars and trucks in California, http://dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf.

In San Diego where I live, during summer months we don't have enough electricity to keep our lights on and routinely have blackouts due to lack of electrical supply. Imagine if those 27m vehicles were electric how much greater the electrical drain would be.

And if we could meet demand, how would it be done? Coal plants? Nuclear? And what consequences are we creating for ourselves by doing so? I'm not so sure electric is a panacea, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Some countries produce electricity cleaner than others, but as fossil fuels get more expensive, and renewable sources and/or nuclear become more common, the balance will shift. It doesn't matter to an EV where the power comes from, it will still run on it... in the US it's only about 10% renewable energy, but that is certain to rise. You try running an M3 on 10% renewable petrol! It's impossible!

It's not the car manufacturers job to ensure that every country around the world generates it's electricity from renewable sources... it's something they should be doing anyway.

But the scenario of 27 million electric vehicles is a long long long way off yet!
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      08-08-2013, 04:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
This seems like it might be a nice car when it does come to market.

In truth, however, I'm not sure about my feelings regarding EVs or hybrids. On one hand, I recognize they offer efficiency benefits that surpass that of petro-chemically powered vehicles. And I accept that electricity is cheaper than gasoline or diesel. (Scientific American says that electricity costs what amounts to 75 a gallon.) So, over a long enough period or driving enough miles, one could get one's money's worth out of spending the extra money it costs up front to buy an EV or hybrid. On the other hand, however, it seems like battery powered vehicles is an interim step between what we have now and powering just about everything via a completely renewable energy source.

Yes, yes, I know, baby steps. But babies need baby steps, do whole economies and systems? I cannot help but wonder if the resources devoted to electric vehicle technology would not be better invested to simply go directly to the end state goal. I know that's not often possible or plausible, but in this particular case, I don't really know.

The other thing that somewhat disturbs me is the fact that the efficiency gains will be available first to the wealthy and not-quite-wealthy folks who in fact are the ones least in need of the overall reduction in costs. I know that historically, that's always how it's been with most any advances in technology; however, when the matter driving the movement is environmental sustainability and national economic soundness, I can't help but think that a solution that is readily available to a much broader spectrum of the population isn't a better approach. Even now, the cheapest EVs and hybrids, forget BMW's versions, are still priced well above what the average consumer can pay for a car. Yet, it's the average consumers' use of efficient vehicles that will make the difference to the economy and environment. (Please don't infer any Marxist leanings from that statement; that's not where I intended to direct any lines of discussion.)
I think it's important to compartmentalize when considering current-day EVs. Hybrids are an obvious interim compromise, but EVs like Tesla's Model S are better platforms the future of the automobile.

When we talk about renewable energy sources, we're not talking about eliminating electricity, we're talking about where the electricity comes from. Batteries are not an energy source, so even if a perfect renewable energy source were to fall in to our laps tomorrow, it wouldn't eliminate the need for batteries.

I think it's unlikely that we'll see the development of any renewable resource that we would burn in an internal combustion engine, like we do with gasoline/diesel. It's far more likely that the renewable resource will generate electricity. The question is whether the entire means of power generation will be suitable for installation in an automobile, or if the electricity will be generated in large facilities and stored in some other medium (like batteries or kinetic storage devices).

The only part of current-day EVs that I would say stands a 100% chance of being discarded in the future is the LiIon battery. It's limitations are too significant to sustain our needs in to the distant future. However, a LiIon battery has nothing to do with renewable energy sources. You "fill" a LiIon battery with electricity, so all the other components of a current-day EV -- the motors, the power management systems, etc -- are progress that is invested in the long term.
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