At the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled what it describes as the “most advanced sports car ever offered for sale” – the BMW i8.
The BMW i8 uses a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in conjunction with an electric motor to deliver both exciting performance and incredible efficiency.
The i8 can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds, and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.
More fascinating, however, are the efficiency figures, which claim CO2 emissions of just 59 g/km and a 113 mpg fuel economy figure.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine develops 231hp and 320Nm of torque from 3,700rpm, and drives the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
The front wheels are driven, via a two-stage automatic transmission, by the electric motor, which can produce up to 131hp and 250Nm of torque from a standstill.
Combined, the two provide a maximum of 362hp and 570Nm and, of course, all wheel-drive.
The electric motor is powered by a 5 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can sustain the i8’s electric-only mode for up to 22 miles and a top speed of 75mph.
The battery can be recharged by the petrol engine’s starter/generator during braking and deceleration or, as a plug-in hybrid, via an AC charger.
BMW’s own i Wallbox is available with a government grant, bringing the installed cost down to £315, and the unit can recharge the i8 to 80% within two hours.
The i8 is also supplied with a standard 10-amp five metre cable to allow charging via a 3-pin socket to 80% within three hours.
The BMW i8 will be available to order later this month, with the official UK launch set for July 2014.
It’s available from a network of 47 i BMW dealers, priced from £99,845.