The all-new BMW i8 (2)

The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid supercar has been launched at the 2015 BMW World Malaysia exhibition. The 2+2 coupe is the second model to be introduced into the BMW i family following the launch of the i3 city car. Aesthetics wise, the BMW i8 features a futuristic, function-led design language that’s completely unique to any other models in the BMW range.

Under the bonnet, a turbocharged 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo tech is featured. In its current state of tune, the mill produces a total of 231 hp and 320 Nm of torque – all that power gets sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Further augmenting the drivetrain is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that juices up the electric motor.

Said electric motor produces a total of 131 hp and 250 Nm of torque with the power going to the front wheels, effectively making the BMW i8 an all-wheel drive car. In total, the BMW i8 packs 362 hp at 5,800 rpm and 570 Nm of torque from 1,200 to 5,000 rpm. The 0-100 km/h sprint gets done and dusted in 4.4 seconds while top speed has been quoted at 250 km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 47.6 km/l, CO2 emissions at 49 g/km.

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A fully-electric operational range of 35 km with a top speed of 120 km/h is touted while total range with the petrol engine is said to be in the region of 500 km. The Driving Experience Control feature allows the driver to cycle between driving modes, with Eco Pro being one of the five choices. Charging the battery itself takes three hours with a domestic power socket or two with the BMW i Wallbox.

The Life Module passenger cell is made out of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) while the drive systems and battery are packed into the aluminium Drive module as part of the marque’s i LifeDrive architecture. All this translates to a kerb weight of just 1,490 kg.

BMW i8 extra 2

On the surface, the BMW i8 sports 20-inch alloy wheels with a staggered (run-flat) tyre combination of 215/45 and 245/40, front to rear. Also included are full LED headlamps while butterfly doors are part and parcel of the i8 for the full supercar effect. Swing open said doors and a full ‘Spheric’ leather interior with BMW i Blue seat belts are the first things to greet the occupants.

Taking centre stage is a 10.25-inch high-definition screen with Navigation system Professional with iDrive Touch Controller. Drivers can stream their own tunes via Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity while the 600W Harman Kardon surround sound system with 16 speakers ensures everything sounds as crisp as it should be.

Driver assistance features include BMW Head-Up Display, cruise control with brake function, Park Distance Control (PDC) and a Driving Assistant system with top and side view capability courtesy of mounted cameras. Other conveniences include a dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system, electric seat adjustment and automatic wipers and lights.

On the safety front, airbags are included for the driver and front passenger along with supplementary side airbags mounted in the backrest of the front seats. Additionally, curtain airbags that run the entire length of the side windows are included. Elsewhere, a tyre pressure monitoring system, dynamic braking lights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Isofix anchors are standard.

The BMW i8 is priced from RM1,188,800 OTR without insurance, inclusive of GST. The price also includes the BMW i Wallbox Pure charging station sans installation charges, which should be somewhere in the hundreds depending on the premise. Additional units of the Wallbox will cost about RM10k.

As with most BMWs, warranty is two years/unlimited mileage, and you also get three years/60,000 km BSRI free service and repair. The i8’s battery has an eight year/100,000 km mileage, whichever comes first.