2014 BMW i8 Supercar: 0-62 in 4.9 Seconds, Top Speed 156 MPH

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BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

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Last week, we confidently predicted that we’d be hearing more about BMW’s first all-electric and plug-in hybrid production cars -- the  i3 electric minicar and i8 plug-in supercar -- as we neared the BMW-sponsored 2012 Olympics.

For the past few weeks, most of the news we’ve heard has centered around the 2014 BMW i3. But now, thanks to UK-based CarMagazine, we know a little more about its bigger, faster, brother. 

Taking 4.9 seconds to reach 62 mph, the BMW i8 isn’t quite as fast as the all-electric 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 sport. 

But while the Tesla Roadster wins hands down on acceleration times, the BMW i8 can go onto a top speed of 156 mph where legal. 

As we’ve discussed before, when we got a look under the hood, power will come from a 126 kilowatt motor driving the front wheels, while a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine puts out an acceptable 233hp and 295 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. 

Unlike the BMW i3, the BMW i8 will come with a four-speed automatic gearbox, which helps it retain better gas mileage at higher speeds. 

But while the BMW i8 might have a high top speed, carbon-fiber body and futuristic swing-up doors, it is let down by a poor gas mileage. 

According to CarMagazine, the BMW i8 only achieved a gas mileage of 104.2 miles per imperial gallon in European gas mileage tests. Carrying a direct translation into U.S. MPG yields a figure of 86 mpg.

However, since European tests don’t account for the energy used to charge the battery pack and are known for being more optimistic on gas mileage than EPA gas mileage testing, expect a U.S. gas mileage figure nearer to 75mpg. 

For a plug-in car, that’s a terrible gas mileage. But with the exception of the much-missed Tesla Roadster, we can’t think of any other sports car that gets anywhere near that figure. 

But wait. If we compare the predicted gas mileage of the 2014 BMW i8 with the similarly-priced and 38mph-faster 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo -- which gets just 19 mpg combined -- you’d save a massive $50 in gas on a 400 mile weekend jaunt at current prices. 

It’s important to note that BMW hasn’t officially confirmed these specifications yet, but with the 2012  New York Auto Show just a week away, we’re expecting to see it do just that very soon. 


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Comments (13)
  1. Are those specs available in EV mode or in hybrid mode only?

  2. So what is the BMW i8 being compared to that makes 86 to 75 mpg, terrible? You can not compare a plug-in carbonfiber supercar to a plug-in 5-door family hatchback like the Volt. We don't compare Ferrari 458 Italias to Volkswagen Golfs when it comes to gas milage. The truth is that there is no other plug-in hybrid supercars to compare the i8 to, it can only be compared with the current crop of supercars.

  3. You might as well say that it can only be compared to blue cars, it would make about as much sense.

    Being a "supercar" does not mean that it cannot also be efficient. A light-weight electric vehicle can, and should, be quite efficient.

    Let's not go through the same non-sensible argument with the i8 that we went through with the Karma. The Karma is extremely inefficient for an electric car, even when you give some allowance for its weight.

  4. What I was trying to say is, the only other plug-in hybrids out there right now are two compact 5-door hatchbacks and a 5,400 pound crossover sedan, and out of all of them the i8 is also the fastest. Like I said you wouldn't pit a Ferrari against a VW in an efficientcy test. And how is 86 to 75 mpg bad, the best I've ever seen in a sports car is 22 mpg average. And let's not forget that the Karma is a hybrid.

  5. Why not put a Ferrari against a VW in an efficiency test?

    Couldn't we put a Tesla Roadster against a Lotus Elise in an efficiency test, then in an acceleration test, and finally test the Roadster against a VW in an efficiency test, with the Roadster winning on all fronts.

    Why is a performance car automatically excused from being efficient in your mind? Why not have performance and efficiency?

  6. I'm not saying a performance car is excused, it should still meet certain efficientcy standards. But everyone knows that an economy car is going to get better milage against a supercar just like a supercar will beat an economy car in a performance test. It's a well know fact that economical small cars get the best gas milage and that cars that are built to go fast use more fuel, so they are not comparable in a fuel milage test. But you haven't answered my question, isn't 75 to 86 mpg good in a sports car that can do 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 156? Your a Prius driver, how many people do you think go into a dealership and can't decide between buying a Prius or a Corvette?

  7. The truth of the matter is the i8 has no competitors, there are no other plug-in hybrid sports cars so there is no equal comparison to be made at this time. And no it can't be compared with other plug-ins because there is nothing like it.........yet. And you have to admit, this article is only guessing at its efficientcy as BMW has not made anything official yet.

  8. Well, let me try to answer your question and then perhaps you can answer the question you have not answered.

    As the data I believe proves conclusively, the most efficient vehicle on the market goes 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and gets 112 mpge. Tesla Roadster. So 75 to 86 mpge might not be very good.

    As for cross shopping Prius and Corvettes, I have not seen that specifically, but I have seen people (lots of them) cross-shop SUVs and the Prius, and BMW and the Prius, because they value the efficiency more than values SUVs and BMWs have to offer.

  9. There are more comments in this thread
  10. @ John Briggs, the article says MPG not MPGe. And the Tesla Roadster is no longer available to US customers and it is a lighter smaller car. I'm just talking automotive classes, compact sedans compete with other compact sedans, mid-sized to mid-sized sedans that sort of thing. You still really can't compare the i8 to the Tesla Roadster the i8 is a 2+2 plug-in hybrid coupe, the Roadster would be better compared with a Porsche Boxster E. A perfect example of a balanced comparison would be the Volt versus the Prius plug-in or the Leaf versus the Focus EV. The real problem is trying to put all plug-in cars into one category when not all of them are focused on exactly the same thing.

  11. And the Karma is loosing ground, it does a lot but doesn't do any one thing well. So you right on that one.

  12. OK I mess up a little here. I should have looked into Nikki's MPG comment before having this argument.

    The MPG number quoted is questionable because it excludes the value of the electricity. This 70 or 80 MPG is calculated in the same meaningless way that the Volt got 220 MPG, i.e. ignoring the value of the electricity.

    So I would say we know nothing about the efficiency of the i8 unless more details are revealed about the calculation of 104.2 MPG (UK), or if we have other plug-ins tested in the same way.

    We may need to wait for the EPA to weigh-in before we know the details.

    Again, the excellent efficiency of the ActiveE gives me hope that the i8 will be efficient and show how bad the Karma is.

  13. No worries I never thought we were arguing it was just a heated discussion ; ). And though I do agree that the Karma is krap, it does have one small positive point, at least it has people who buy cars in the $100,000+ price range looking at plug-in cars and though small it dose have an electric range. So yes it's not the best but at least it's a start.

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