2014 BMW i8 Coupe - FROM $
If the BMW i8 production model is as good as the concept, prepare to rethink your ideas of what a hybrid vehicle can be.
What's New for 2014
Based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car shown a few years ago, the 2014 BMW i8 represents the German automaker's vision of a high-performance hybrid. If this is what the future looks like, sign us up. We can get behind a 3.0-liter inline-6 gasoline engine -- the kind at which BMW traditionally excels -- joined with an electric motor for stop-start fuel efficiency, especially when both units combine to make 349 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The 2014 BMW i8 will be able to dash from zero to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds while getting 78 mpg, so the company claims. It'll also be able to motor up to 22 miles solely on electricity. Sounds like a pretty good future to us.
Lightweight construction helps bring such lofty performance within reach, notably an aluminum chassis and extensive use of carbon-fiber-reinforced panels within the passenger cabin. If the production BMW i8 follows the concept, its wheelbase will be only slightly longer than a BMW M3 sedan, yet it will be 8 inches shorter overall and also 3 inches wider. It'll also weigh 650 pounds less than the M3. BMW will even squeeze efficiency out of the i-model's headlamps, skipping over the current generation of LED lights and employ laser light. Yes, laser light.
Which of these future technologies actually make it to production is anyone's guess, of course. It also remains to be seen whether BMW can develop such a futuristic car for a price that won't rival the mortgage on your house. But if the power, speed and efficiency promised by the concept all make it to production, expect the 2014 BMW i8 to redefine our expectations of hybrid performance.
Check back for pricing information and driving impressions for the 2014 BMW i8 as they become available.