It looks like we’re scrambling all of BMW’s deepest and darkest secrets this week. This new set of photos show the BMW i8 hybrid supercar in near-production trim pounding the Nurburgring getting ready for its big unveiling alongside the i3 citycar later this year – the Frankfurt Motor Show in September seems the likely target.
Our European spyshot specialist CarPix has delivered a fantastic set of photos here, revealing much of the production car’s fine points. It’s no surprise that a lot of the original i8 Concept‘s wild elements have been toned down for production – you didn’t think the glass doors were for real, did you? – but there’s no denying that BMW’s attempt at making an eco-friendly supercar is dressed to impress.
From the looks of it, the i8 has spent far more time in the wind tunnel than it has doing track evaluations, as much of the car’s design elements are dictated by aerodynamics. It’s as sleek and wind-cheating as it can be, for the benefit of both efficiency and performance. Note the blanked-off grille, various turning vanes between the wheels and the flying buttresses above the rear lights.
Word is there’s a highly-tuned turbocharged three-cylinder engine running the rear wheels with a powerful electric motor driving the front. 0-100 km/h should be done in less than five seconds, with economy figures that would impress a Prius owner. As for the BMW i8’s price, think more Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG rather than the Audi R8.