A couple of weeks ago BMW Australia announced pricing for the very cool looking and very green i8 hybrid sportscar. It’s three hundred grand if you’re wondering. To promote the Australian sales launch the BMWi “supercar” is touring across the six dealerships in six states who have been nominated as official selling dealers.
Luckily for us here at AUSmotive Rolfe Classic BMW in Canberra made the cut. We received an email last week inviting us along to inspect the car later this week. However, a scheduling bonus meant the Canberra dealer could get the car last Friday and it has been on display since. Word filtered our way quickly, Canberra is a small town after all, and we went along last Saturday for a sticky beak.
It’s a plug-in hybrid which sends 170kW/320Nm to the rear wheels, thanks to a fearsome 1.5 litre three cylinder petrol turbo, while the front axle is powered by a 96kW/250Nm electric motor. The total combined output of the i8 is 266kW/570Nm, enough to get the car to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds.
Play nicely and you can almost drive to the moon and back, such is the frugal nature of its fuel consumption (2.1l/100km according to the spec sheet beside the car).
Of course, it’s the flowing lines and dramatic nature of the i8 which hold as much appeal to any petrolhead (or should that be volthead now) as the car’s technical specifications. There’s cleverly crafted nooks and crannies wherever you look and the aesthetic results are plain to see.
The drama only increases when the winged doors open and invite you into the cabin. There’s raw carbon fibre reinforced plastic hinting at the car’s lightweight underbelly before a typically teutonic interior greets you with a few more flashes of personality than you usually see inside a BMW these days.
Although, it’s a shame in a way that much of the car’s futuristic styling is lost with the
black Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect paintwork. That said, the i8 is a beautiful object to admire and we only hope it does good things for BMW on the sales front so that Munich’s bold foray into hybrid sportscars is both encouraged and sustainable.
The i8 is in Canberra until next Tuesday (8 July) and will also visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (it may have visited some or all of those locations already, check with the dealer list below to confirm).
We reckon you should make the effort to check out the i8. For one thing it looks fantastic, but, as a means of providing a long-term solution for the sportcar genre, it’s probably a lot more important than we realise right now.
Visionary Mobility, Inspiring Design – The BMW i8.
June 16 2014
- New generation of sports car featuring visionary mobility, inspiring design and next premium materials
- The second and ‘halo’ model for the BMW i sub-brand
- High performance and exceptionally efficient plug-in hybrid drive train
- Exceptionally high level of standard specification
- Pricing for the BMW i8 from $299,000
- Customer deliveries to start from March 2015
The future is becoming reality with BMW Australia today announcing pricing and specification of the visionary new BMW i8, the second and ‘halo’ model unveiled by the new BMW i brand.
BMW Group Australia managing director, Phil Horton, said the BMW i8 is a remarkable representation of visionary mobility and a trailblazer for the next generation of sports car.
“The BMW i8 is a showcase, not only for its visionary concepts, inspiring design and groundbreaking construction, but also for its innovative technologies which make it the car of the future,” said Horton.
Showcasing groundbreaking innovation in its design and construction, the BMW i8 combines a full carbon fibre passenger cell with a high performance and incredibly efficient plug-in hybrid drive train, along with awe inspiring styling. The BMW i8 is also blessed with an exceptionally high level of driver safety, comfort and convenience features as standard.
Just about every add on feature from the factory has been ticked as standard for the Australian market, leaving only the character of the BMW i8 to be personalised by the customer.
The BMW i8 can be specified in a choice of four exterior colours – Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect, Ionic Silver, Protonic Blue and Crystal White – with the latter three created exclusively for BMW i. All these paint finishes provide a striking contrast to the black belt and the accent surfaces on the side skirts, rear bumper and on the BMW kidney grille surround, which are available in Frozen Grey metallic or, for Sophisto Grey and Crystal White vehicles, BMW i Blue can be chosen as the accent colour.
Additionally there are three differently styled 20-inch alloy wheels available to further customise the external appearance of the BMW i8.
The interior of the BMW i8 is available in three design schemes, each creating a completely different character to the inside of the BMW i8. The standard design, Carpo, is available with dark Amido leather upholstery or light Ivory White. Both are complimented by contrast stitching and painted surface elements on the instrument cluster, door trims and centre console.
For no additional cost the customer can also select the Neso interior design scheme which creates a more elegant ambience, combining black surfaces in the cockpit with light Carum Grey leather upholstery.
The Halo interior option provides the highest level of premium interior design. The top-quality leather surfaces, in a combination of dark Dalbergia Brown and Carrum Grey, blend effectively with the contrast stitching and seat belts in BMW i Blue, which also adorns the accent ring in the steering wheel. The Halo line also offers high-class paintwork to selected trims on the instrument panel and door trims as well as an anthracite roof liner.
BMW i Blue seat belts and anthracite roof liner are available as standalone options in combination with the Carpo and Neso interior lines.
Each interior line is complimented by the standard fitment of the lights package which uses LED technology to create a subtle yet effective ambient lighting throughout the BMW i8.
Equipment and specification.
The standard equipment list for the BMW i8 is reflective of its position as the flagship of the BMW i range, and halo model for the BMW i brand.
The safety credentials of the BMW i8 are just as impressive as its performance, particularly given its basic construction of a high-strength carbon fibre life module to protect the occupants. Passive safety features include pyrotechnic seat belt tensioners and belt force limiters for all seats, along with six airbags covering all seating positions, to provide the safest environment for occupants in the case of an accident.
In addition, the BMW i8 is laden with active safety features to help minimise the potential for an accident in the first instance. These features include the full suite of Dynamic Stability Control systems as well as hybrid specific all-wheel drive, acoustic protection for pedestrian (for electric drive mode) and a tyre pressure monitor which monitors each tyre individually and provides warning of pressure loss.
Driver safety and awareness is further enhanced by the inclusion of features such as the Driving Assistant which provides camera based aids such as collision and pedestrian warning systems with light city braking, High Beam Assist as well as rear view, top view and side view cameras, all with object recognition function.
The standard Adaptive LED headlights, interior and exterior rear view mirrors with anti-dazzle function, park distance control and BMW Head Up Display also ensure optimum visibility and awareness for the driver.
Thanks to the standard Comfort Access System, entry to the BMW i8 is keyless. Inside, the driver and occupants can enjoy a plethora of infotainment systems. Audio entertainment is via the eleven speaker top-end harman/kardon sound system which boasts a six-channel digital amplifier and generates 360 W to produce crystal clear sound reproduction. The audio can be sourced from available FM stations, the DAB+ tuner, streamed from a paired Bluetooth audio device or smartphone, or accessed from the owner’s own music library which can be stored in the 20GB of hard drive space allocated as part of the standard Navigation system Professional. This feature also includes an 8.8-inch full colour screen and iDrive touch controller.
The security of the BMW i8 is ensured with the standard fitment of an alarm.
The BMW i8 provides unrivalled connectivity for the occupants with the suite of BMW i ConnectedDrive features as standard. These includeTeleservices, Intelligent eCall, ConnectedDrive Services with BMW Online and Apps, Remote Services, Real Time Traffic Information, concierge services and internet.
Additionally, and unique to BMW i, is access to the full range of services provided by BMW 360 Electric. With this programme BMW i provides a unique product and services package precisely tailored to the special needs of electric mobility. In addition to the home and public charging services, other key features include ‘Flexible Mobility’ and ‘Assistance Services’.
BMW i8 customers are offered additional services such as BMW Add On Mobility. BMW Financial Services and BMW i have created bespoke offers especially for BMW i8 customers, to provide them with conventional BMW Group hire cars for occasions when they may require different functionality to their BMW i8. For example, a BMW i8 customer may prefer an alternative vehicle, such as a BMW X3, to carry extra luggage and equipment for a skiing holiday. Customers may choose between a selection of BMW Group models for up to 12 days per annum, the cost of which can easily be integrated into the finance contract under the BMW Financial Services Electrify Program.
In addition to enabling customers to charge their car at home, BMW i offers a wide range of assistance services, mobility guarantees and intelligent convenience functions to ensure uninterrupted mobility. These include an advanced BMW i ConnectedDrive navigation system to maximise range, and the ability to use the charging stations of external partners. And if by any chance a vehicle should break down or run out of power, a broad range of BMW i services is available to ensure speedy assistance.
The BMW i8 will be available for demonstration to prospective customers from December 2014 via the BMW i dealer network with customer vehicles arriving from March 2015.
From the commencement of BMW i8 sales from March 2015, the BMW i network will be in full swing with six selling dealers operating in Australia;
- BMW Melbourne in Southbank, Melbourne
- BMW Sydney in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney
- Brisbane BMW in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
- Auto Classic in Victoria Park, Perth
- Adelaide BMW in Adelaide, SA
- Rolfe Classic BMW in Phillip, ACT
On top of the authorised BMW i sales dealerships, service and repairs will be available on the BMW i8 through a selection of eleven existing BMW dealerships all positioned in areas convenient to prospective BMW i owners.
BMW i8 Australian Pricing (MRLP)*
- BMW i8 – $299,000
*Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price is shown and includes GST and Luxury Car Tax (LCT) – if applicable, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges, which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing inquiries.