BMW's radical i8 plug-in hybrid sports car took a big step closer to reality this week with the company's announcement that the new generation of high-tech, 3-cylinder gasoline engines for the car will be produced exclusively at the BMW engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham, in England.
Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, made the announcement at a British auto industry event at Canary Wharf in London.
Robertson said: "Our Hams Hall engine plant ... will make an important contribution to the future success of the new BMW i brand and the company’s strategy for achieving sustainable mobility. The new 3-cylinder (gasoline) engines will enable our future BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car to set new standards for dynamic performance in combination with industry-leading fuel-efficiency and low carbon emission levels."
The BMW i8 Concept is a contemporary sports car boasting an innovative eDrive plug-in hybrid configuration that combines an electric drive system with a high performance three cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine that produces 349 hp.
BMW says the 2+2 seater will provide sports car performance with small-car fuel consumption, accelerating from 0-to-100 km/h in under five seconds while consuming just 3.6 L/100 km (on the European driving cycle).
Thanks to its plug-in hybrid drive capability, however, most daily journeys can be taken in zero-emission all-electric mode, the company says. The i8 will have an electric-drive range of approximately 32 km.