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      09-08-2017, 05:21 PM   #1
JasH
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Post Pure Impulse Experience - Leipzig

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The "Top Gear gang" from the Munich event reunited for a race to Leipzig last week

Munich event: http://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...ghlight=munich

Whilst I agreed to let "Clarkson" do the full write-up this time, here is a short spoiler-free taster for his full fat magnum opus

Hammond was MIA and didn't attend, but was there in spirit joining in on our WhatsApp chat, and sending us pics of him pulling faces again. "Stig" (also from the Finland event) took his place and drove in his i8 from Kent to Leipzig.

Clarkson has again decided to cheat and took a direct flight to Leipzig, but his flight departed much later. And here is the legend himself





Captain Slow (me) flew to Berlin, taking the train into the city centre, and then another train to Leipzig.

Full details of the race, the event, and the day in Berlin will follow from Clarkson. The only spoiler I will give is that I recommend everyone with an i8 to visit Leipzig. It is an amazing place, and an amazing event. BMW were again simply wonderful and generous hosts.

Let's just start by saying that I was very disappointed upon leaving home at 04:30 to head North to Stansted, to find that Stig was already in the process of leaving Calais He had decided to cheat too, and left home shortly after 02:00.

I won't steal Clarkson's thunder with any spoilers, so will let him post the map screenshots. I will say however that I missed my connecting train in Berlin by less than 10 seconds, as I stood on the platform with the doors closing in front of me... yes, Captain Slow should have run That meant a 1 hour wait for the next train to Leipzig.

I did however text ahead to Richard to arrange a car to pick me up at the railway station, and was pleased to find a BMW Pure Impulse representative waiting with the distinctive sign at the station...and a chauffeur with a long wheelbase 7 series for me. Luxury

I made use of the massage seats on my short trip to the hotel. Clarkson had a very different massage experience in Berlin after the event...more on that in his write-up

I imagine he will entitle it, "what happens in Berlin, stays in Berlin"

No spoilers, but the winner only reached the hotel a few minutes in front

Stig had an eventful journey too, including a rather too close encounter between his i8 and a shovel on the unrestricted autobahn Fortunately only minor damage resulted.

I arrived at the hotel to find the i8 Formula E safety car Which I duly had a seat in



I had a comfortable room on the 26th floor with a great view over Leipzig, and a VR headset gift from BMW



The evening commenced with a tour of the beautiful city of Leipzig by our amazing German guides. Leipzig is a wonderful place, and I certainly intend to return

One unusual occurrence was when we saw a swastika shaped statue of a communist fused with a Nazi, our guide bizarrely warned us it was against the law to emulate the stance It made me wonder what kind of experience she had had with tourists in the past



It was a thought provoking piece, which I felt was sending the right message, from a city in the former East Germany which still has Stasi buildings and history. My own interpretation was the extreme left and right are equally dangerous and crush the individual.

The evening concluded with amazing food at the 2 Michelin star Falco. All courtesy of BMW, and this food was some of the best I have ever had. Intense flavours and cooked to perfection, with some dishes that were entirely new to us.

The next day we were taken to the Leipzig factory complex. This was truly an eye opener in terms of its design, vision and scale. It is a truly eco friendly factory with wind turbines generating almost all of the power used, with natural light from skylights, and roofs that open to let hot air escape, avoiding the need for air conditioning.

What also impressed me was that the ecology of the site had so much green space that was allowed to grow wild, making a home for lots of species. They also had lots of fruit trees, and sold apples commercially. Most surprising was that the plant keeps thousands of bees and sells huge quantities of honey commercially! A truly green factory, and so very impressive.

Inside the factory was no less impressive, with car bodies transported on aerial platforms above the heads of even the office workers. The concept being to ensure that all personnel are close to the end product, and keep in mind what they are there for.



We had detailed lectures on the i3 and i8, from i Division, with particular focus on weight reduction. I learned that weight reduction measures reduced the mass of the i8 by an eye-watering 300kg (660 pounds in American )

I was very pleased to confirm for myself that the i8 truly has a 100% carbon fibre passenger cell, in common with very few cars indeed. Leaving aside hyper cars like La Ferrari, I believe only the McLaren 720S and Aventador are similarly fully carbon passenger cell. As well as the humble i3 of course

We did not sign an NDA, and I had permission to take the pictures I took. I can therefore reveal that the car we saw in Munich was the i8 Roadster, but I cannot say anything more about it yet (as the car was mentioned in Leipzig).

I asked a lot of questions and I learned a lot about the i8. A few key items follow.

The i8 does have the exact same electric motor as the i3, but a different and lighter housing. The motor cannot produce the same power as in the i3 because the smaller (and very different) i8 batteries cannot output the same amount of power. The i8 batteries would melt if they tried to output as much power as the i3. So we can forget about getting as much power in a revised i8, or an aftermarket mod to achieve it.

Secondly, the i3 batteries are designed for slow charge and discharge. The i8 batteries are designed for extremely rapid charge and discharge, as a KERS system. This design is of course perfect for the i8

Whilst i Division are working on a wider wheel option, they can only be very slightly wider due to clearances. Wider wheels were not fitted because of the air curtain design, not only to reduce drag but to prevent lift from the wheel area. They did not quantify the issue with data though

A software update is being worked on for our i8 cars, including to fix the lack of large gear indication in Sport mode. It is fixed in the Roadster, but they are not certain that our old hardware can use the fix in the same way. They hope to give our old i8 cars the update too though

A few pictures follow of the i8 carbon cell, side, front and rear, showing the electric and combustion engines.











We then had a delicious lunch before our tour of the production line.

The tour of the production line was amazing. You can see much of it on youtube, but that does not prepare you for the scale of a huge floor full of robots.



i3 production was almost fully automated, and reminiscent of a scene from the T-800 Terminator factory!



i8 was very much hand built. The reason for this being the very different and complex structure of the i8, and the very low build numbers (6-8 cars per day).

I saw the very last i8 coupes coming off the line. These were a stunning a frozen yellow. I always thought yellow would suit the i8, and it was beautiful. This matt colour in fact showed off the i8's lines even better than Crystal White does. One issue however was the mismatch between the matt black on the bonnet, and the gloss black elsewhere on the car.



This car coming to UK soon, and with an American car right behind it.



They will now only make Roadsters, and a coupe will only be made if a customer orders a specific build.

After the factory tour, Clarkson, Stig and I went on the Leipzig music tour because the modern arts tour we wanted to go on was cancelled We made the best of it, and the tour was livened up no end by a local resident who decided to ...erm.. show us his assets... whilst shouting and swearing at us in German. The French group of i8 owners sharing this tour with us were not amused. We were in hysterics however. BMW's local photographer translated for us afterwards, and it seems the poor man was upset at only having one name More on that hilarious encounter, with pictures, from Clarkson later! Anyone for frankfurter for dinner?

The evening event was another highlight of the trip. This was a formal dinner at Kunstkraftwerk, a former power station now used as an event location. The food and drink were excellent, as was the keynote speaker, Jim Lawless. My own personal highlight however was courtesy of Richard (event organiser extraordinaire), who kindly seated Hans-Peter Kemser (Head of the Leipzig plant) next to me.

I chatted with Hans about the i8 and cars generally, as well as England and Leipzig. Hans was previously the plant manager of BMW's Mini plant in Oxford. I found it remarkable how in tune Hans was with our views on the i8 as we often state them on this very forum. He was truly one of the most sincere and nicest people I met there.

One amusing moment was when Hans asked me where I lived. I told him "Kent", but he did not know it, so he handed me his phone with google maps open. I zoomed in on Kent, and saw my village, so zoomed in on that, and then my home. Hans was delighted to see my i8 in my driveway on the satellite image!



I discovered a lot from speaking with Hans, and it would not be right to share any of it. But I will say that I learned about another unannounced car (not i8 Roadster) and liked it so much that I put a deposit down and placed my order upon returning to the UK!

The evening ended with some acrobatics from Clarkson I will say no more here!

What an amazing event! But it was not over for us yet; we had to race back to the UK.

Clarkson and I set off in the morning being chauffeured in a 7 series to Leipzig airport, enjoying the massage seats, whilst Clarkson played with every button he could get his hands on. Annoying me by opening and closing side blinds, rear blinds, sunroof etc. He is easily amused.

We jumped in a hire car at the airport for the drive to Berlin. Clarkson managed to not only wheelspin a Ford Galaxy, but tried to get it sideways too! We never knew a Galaxy could reach 130mph. Our plan was to spend the day in Berlin.

Stig meanwhile set off in his i8 directly for England. The return race was his But Clarkson and I had a fantastic day in Berlin.... well Clarkson more than me, but I will let him share the details. Lovely city with friendly people Even Clarkson couldn't spoil Berlin though.



We didn't quite understand Berliners' love for the Trabant though. What a complete pile of junk



Clarkson's new ...erm..."friend":




Clarkson enjoyed being surrounded by a load of German seamen:



I did my best to lose Clarkson in Berlin - by pushing him into a lake, but he stuck around. I am sure he will share the pics and complain about getting soaked in Berlin in his write-up

We ended the day in an amazing car museum/workshop in Berlin. I will share just one picture now.



It had almost every Ferrari I could think of, as well as most Lamborghinis, the Bugatti Veyron, Porsche 918. Plenty of other exotics and historic cars too. Oddly no McLarens though.

Again, I never saw a single i8 in Germany, apart from the event cars. We did see a white i8 with UK plates in Berlin, but it was from the event too. I did jump into the road and wave at the driver, but he sensibly ignored us, seeing that Clarkson was with me

Another top event courtesy of BMW
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      09-08-2017, 08:41 PM   #2
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As with your Munich event post, very much enjoyed this one and look forward to Clarkson's more extended post. I was very surprised (maybe more shocked) to read that they won't be making any more coupes, unless special ordered. Is that for just the near term, or will it continue indefinitely? Will there even be an updated coupe with the latest features from the roadster? Interesting to hear why the i3 motor output won't work in the i8. Are you able to share any other technical info or is that still covered by the Munich NDA? Know you can't confirm it, but I imagine the other new car you saw and ordered might be the i5, which I understand will be revealed at the Frankfurt show next week.
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      09-09-2017, 09:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drlonline View Post
As with your Munich event post, very much enjoyed this one and look forward to Clarkson's more extended post. I was very surprised (maybe more shocked) to read that they won't be making any more coupes, unless special ordered. Is that for just the near term, or will it continue indefinitely? Will there even be an updated coupe with the latest features from the roadster? Interesting to hear why the i3 motor output won't work in the i8. Are you able to share any other technical info or is that still covered by the Munich NDA? Know you can't confirm it, but I imagine the other new car you saw and ordered might be the i5, which I understand will be revealed at the Frankfurt show next week.
Thanks Glad you enjoyed it.

About more coupes, don't be too surprised, as its only logical that production will now switch to the Roadster as that will be in high demand for the immediate future. The production line is highly flexible and they can build a coupe to order when required. It won't be indefinitely.

An updated coupe will have at least some of the Roadster features. I don't know whether it will have all of them, as there are many things we know from Munich that I have not mentioned anywhere. Munich NDA covers everything we learned in Munich. I have only mentioned above the few things that were discussed in Leipzig.

The car I ordered is not an i5. I only know what you know about the i5 i.e. the internet rumours. The car was not even from i Division (but from another specialist division of BMW ), and they are currently tweaking the initial prototype. I expect they will start building it in early-mid 2018.

You may have read from my posts that I have no interest in non-i BMW's so you can guess that this car is pretty special to have me interested, and to the point of ordering it sight unseen, based on a single conversation, and price no object
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      09-09-2017, 10:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasH View Post

The car I ordered is not an i5. I only know what you know about the i5 i.e. the internet rumours. The car was not even from i Division (but from another specialist division of BMW ), and they are currently tweaking the initial prototype. I expect they will start building it in early-mid 2018.
Ok, now you've piqued my curiosity. My second guess is a M8, which would seem to fit the points you made. Surely you can reveal what it is, since it was based on info from Leipzig that was not covered by an NDA. In any case, the updated i8 coupe and 8 series coupe are the two cars I'm currently considering for my next purchase, so I'm anxiously awaiting more news on both. Perhaps more will be revealed next week at the Frankfurt show.
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      09-09-2017, 01:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drlonline View Post
Surely you can reveal what it is, since it was based on info from Leipzig that was not covered by an NDA.
Legally, yes you are quite correct. There is no legal reason I cannot reveal what I was told. There was no NDA in Leipzig.

However, I distinguish between the event (formal) presentations and Q&A sessions, which I have happily shared; and the private one to one conversation over dinner. It would not be ethically right to share the details of that conversation publicly.

I hope you understand
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      09-09-2017, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasH View Post
Legally, yes you are quite correct. There is no legal reason I cannot reveal what I was told. There was no NDA in Leipzig.

However, I distinguish between the event (formal) presentations and Q&A sessions, which I have happily shared; and the private one to one conversation over dinner. It would not be ethically right to share the details of that conversation publicly.

I hope you understand
Yes, I do understand. Maybe you can come over to the States and teach our president a thing or two about integrity .

Well, it must have been a powerful conversation you had over dinner for you to place an order based on so little publicly released information. Can't wait to hear more about it when the time is right.
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      09-09-2017, 04:42 PM   #7
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Yes, I do understand. Maybe you can come over to the States and teach our president a thing or two about integrity .
Too many Americans on here for me to state my opinions of The Donald..... let's just say opinions on him are pretty much universally aligned this side of the Pond, and into Europe



Quote:
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Well, it must have been a powerful conversation you had over dinner for you to place an order based on so little publicly released information.
It was certainly that, and very much music to my ears
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      09-10-2017, 08:58 AM   #8
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Hmmmm... Might you give us a hint as to when the rest of us might hear about the new mystery vehicle? I have been hoping for something akin to a 1000Kg Z2M for a while. Perhaps you could give us a clue as to the weight of your future bimmer?
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      09-10-2017, 09:35 AM   #9
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Hmmmm... Might you give us a hint as to when the rest of us might hear about the new mystery vehicle? I have been hoping for something akin to a 1000Kg Z2M for a while. Perhaps you could give us a clue as to the weight of your future bimmer?
I don't actually know when it will be announced. Just guessing, I would say 2018.

I do not know its weight, and nor do BMW know at present in fact. They don't yet know its cost, and therefore its price, but it will be relatively expensive. I cannot say anything more.

It is a niche vehicle though, so not something that will be of general interest. It will not appeal to most on here, to purchase. It just so happens to be right up my street
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      09-12-2017, 01:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasH View Post
Thanks Glad you enjoyed it.

About more coupes, don't be too surprised, as its only logical that production will now switch to the Roadster as that will be in high demand for the immediate future. The production line is highly flexible and they can build a coupe to order when required. It won't be indefinitely.

An updated coupe will have at least some of the Roadster features. I don't know whether it will have all of them, as there are many things we know from Munich that I have not mentioned anywhere. Munich NDA covers everything we learned in Munich. I have only mentioned above the few things that were discussed in Leipzig.

The car I ordered is not an i5. I only know what you know about the i5 i.e. the internet rumours. The car was not even from i Division (but from another specialist division of BMW ), and they are currently tweaking the initial prototype. I expect they will start building it in early-mid 2018.

You may have read from my posts that I have no interest in non-i BMW's so you can guess that this car is pretty special to have me interested, and to the point of ordering it sight unseen, based on a single conversation, and price no object
I'll be putting my M I8 deposit down in the next two weeks then!
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      09-12-2017, 02:54 PM   #11
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I'll be putting my M I8 deposit down in the next two weeks then!


I fear your deposit will sit there earning interest for your dealer then

I think Mi8 is more Mission Impossible 8
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      09-13-2017, 02:40 AM   #12
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Or an i8 s or whatever the upraded variant will be called
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      09-13-2017, 12:24 PM   #13
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Well, my hopes for any news on the updated (LCI) i8 coupe from the Frankfurt show were dashed. Guess we have to wait until the December LA Auto Show, when the roadster will be revealed. I'm still hoping there will be enough compelling changes to the coupe to warrant buying it over a used earlier car, as I really want to take a ED on the car next summer.
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      09-13-2017, 06:44 PM   #14
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Egads, hopefully not this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasH View Post
Thanks Glad you enjoyed it.

About more coupes, don't be too surprised, as its only logical that production will now switch to the Roadster as that will be in high demand for the immediate future. The production line is highly flexible and they can build a coupe to order when required. It won't be indefinitely.

An updated coupe will have at least some of the Roadster features. I don't know whether it will have all of them, as there are many things we know from Munich that I have not mentioned anywhere. Munich NDA covers everything we learned in Munich. I have only mentioned above the few things that were discussed in Leipzig.

The car I ordered is not an i5. I only know what you know about the i5 i.e. the internet rumours. The car was not even from i Division (but from another specialist division of BMW ), and they are currently tweaking the initial prototype. I expect they will start building it in early-mid 2018.

You may have read from my posts that I have no interest in non-i BMW's so you can guess that this car is pretty special to have me interested, and to the point of ordering it sight unseen, based on a single conversation, and price no object
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      09-14-2017, 02:37 PM   #15
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Egads, hopefully not this:
Nope... the car I ordered after Leipzig is not from i Division.

About that "i5" above, I think we can all be certain they will change the grille in the production car. This car tallies with the iNext timeframe, so is certainly on my radar as a replacement family car in 2021. I believe though that "iNext" applies to a range of vehicles.
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      10-03-2017, 10:39 AM   #16
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I was in Munich last week and drove back and forth the i9 from regensburg to Freising and all the way to Prague
I saw mustangs and Dodge Charger but no I8 either so I wonder where are the bavarian i8s
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      10-03-2017, 11:40 AM   #17
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Pure impulse event in Leipzig in November

Hi
Was wondering who is going to this event in November 24-25? I plan to be there and look forward to meet others. Thanks.
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      10-03-2017, 12:12 PM   #18
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Hi
Was wondering who is going to this event in November 24-25? I plan to be there and look forward to meet others. Thanks.
I won't be at that one, but I am going to the Frieze Art Fair event this Thursday in London; and then the Belgium Zora event this Saturday if anyone else is going to those
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      10-03-2017, 07:28 PM   #19
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I won't be at that one, but I am going to the Frieze Art Fair event this Thursday in London; and then the Belgium Zora event this Saturday if anyone else is going to those
Hope they won't require an NDA so you can share with us what you might learn about the roadster and LCI updates to the coupe.
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      10-04-2017, 11:59 AM   #20
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Hope they won't require an NDA so you can share with us what you might learn about the roadster and LCI updates to the coupe.
Indeed, although it does appear that information is leaking out in various threads as a result of recent private showings of the i8 Roadster in the past fortnight.
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      10-04-2017, 12:04 PM   #21
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Indeed, although it does appear that information is leaking out in various threads as a result of recent private showings of the i8 Roadster in the past fortnight.
Yes, I've seen some of that info. What I'm really looking forward to learning, though, are the answers to the detailed questions you posed some time ago regarding desired improvements in the i8.
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      02-19-2018, 07:56 PM   #22
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Whilst I agreed to let "Clarkson" do the full write-up this time, here is a short spoiler-free taster for his full fat magnum opus

JasH, don't think I ever saw the promised write-up from Clarkson on this event. As I'm becoming an i8 owner this Spring, I'm hoping there will be another Leipzig event in 2018, and would like to hear more about what happened at the last one.
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