An early version of the BMW i8 first debuted back in 2009 – with the first iteration of the vehicle originally sporting the Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics name.
If you’re unfamiliar with this slick car, it is basically a plug-in hybrid vehicle that boasts wild styling and uses clean technology under the hood. The Concept Vision – ultimately renamed the BMW i8 – is now loaded with a 7.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides a driving range of 22 miles on electricity alone.
The car is also equipped with a small 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine (prototype concept versions used a three-cylinder turbo diesel engine). Yes, the turbocharged gasoline engine may be small, but it still produces an impressive 220 hp and 220 foot-pounds of torque (the combined power of the gasoline engine and the electric motor is 349hp).
The BMW i8 is capable of hitting a cool 60 miles an hour in just 4.6 seconds from a complete standstill, while providing an estimated 87 miles per gallon combined fuel economy. Personally, I think the unique styling of the vehicle makes it “a love or hate it” proposition, and I fall into the latter group.
Of course, I’m still hoping the finished vehicle that eventually rolls off the assembly lines in 2014 is somewhat less edgy than the prototype car shown in the video above.