2017 BMW i8 Hybrid Review Specs

Thursday, May 4th 2017. | BMW

2017 BMW i8 Hybrid Review Specs. When someone says plug-in hybrid you probably don’t think of a car with 357 horsepower when you hear 76 miles per gallon electric. and gasoline combined fuel economy you won’t expect 420 pound-feet of torque when you learn that there’s thirty three percent less carbon dioxide coming out of the tailpipe of this car versus a Toyota Corolla you probably aren’t expecting a zero to 60 time of 4.2 seconds. when you see an exterior with styling this bowl this ambitious you don’t assume it’ll ever make it into production and that’s really the story of the 2017 BMW i8.

Don’t create any expectations because they’re all going to be wrong and that’s a good thing so what is the 2017 BMW i8 well it’s a lot of things. what’s really cool about it is the driving experience changes dramatically depending on which of the four modes you choose to be driving in so first off there is a drive. this is a purely electric mode and so there’s a 7.1 kilowatt hour battery on board and this is good for 15 miles of electric only range and this can bring you up to 75 miles per hour.

Now this is only driving the front wheels so an e drive this is a front-wheel drive electric vehicle but it doesn’t always have to be that put it into comfort. the experience changes and so now at this point the engine is allowed to come on whenever it wants and it can add power. the engine is only powering the rear wheels and so in comfort mode you’re kind of combining the best of both worlds where you have efficiency when you’re not really going for it and when you put your foot down it’s going to kick on that engine and provide you with more power then there is eco pro mode.

this is basically comfort mode except you’re going to minimize the amount of basically accessory usage of energy so it’ll optimized. for example the climate control system so that you don’t use too much energy from that and you’re basically going to be driving as efficiently as possible.

so that’s Eco Pro and then finally the most fun mode and where this kind of transforms into a supercar as when you put it into sport mode and this kicks on the three-cylinder engine which you just heard start up and now this vehicle is all wheel drive so electric power getting sent to the front and then you’ve got the 1.5 liter internal combustion engine driving the rear wheels the powertrain of this vehicle is pretty unique starting at the front there’s 129 horsepower electric motor sending power to the front wheels through a two-speed automatic transmission in the middle a 7.1 kilowatt high-voltage lithium-ion battery rest between the driver and the passenger at the rear a turbocharged inline three cylinder produces 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque propelling the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission the engine is also connected to an electric motor which is used as the starter and also used to charge the battery as a generator.

Keeping in mind that there are two power plants one electric and one gasoline and two transmissions depending on the circumstances it’s theoretically possible for the car to be front wheel drive rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive and so when you combine the torque of an electric motor which is instantaneous and then that turbocharged engine when you put your foot down you get torque and then it builds because of the turbo lag of the engine so it builds up boost and so you get immediate torque you’re slammed back in your seat and then you continue to have that acceleration pull harder as that turbocharger spools up and then you get the full power from the rear axle it’s a really cool experience and it’s pretty different than most of the cars I’ve ever driven just because of how instantaneous the torque is immediately and then it just continues to build and it has a really cool feeling to it and it pulls really hard now in sport mode you do have the ability to manually shift and actually this is a very fast shifting automatic transmission the six-speed Automatic i would say equal to that ZF eight-speed which i tested in the Jaguar f-type and the esten Martin Vanquish it’s extremely quick to shift gears on that sound it sounds great you know there is artificial noise being piped in here through the speakers or through wherever to make you excited about what you’re listening to if you ignore that fact it does sound amazing in here you’ve got this nice line from the electric motor and then you’ve got you know a throat eNOS from the IC e and that downshift just sounds great pulls really hard strong brakes and so what it does what you’ll notice on the display up front is this eBoost so when you put your foot down you get that electric boost immediate it also has an electric motor in the rear attached with that engine and that can help compensate for the turbo Lex you get instant torque from the rear as well and then of course once the turbo spools up you’ve got torque from the engine powering it so you’ve got all kinds of torque put down when you put your foot down and it truly is a quick car you know for 150 thousand dollars are there faster cars out there yes absolutely but this is a very unique experience because of how it approaches you know this,  this formula in order to be super efficient and really fun at the same time in my own testing I did 46 miles per gallon on my fuel economy test run that’s the best of any vehicle which I’ve tested except for the volkswagen jetta TDI which was of course cheating you know so theoretically it is the most fuel-efficient vehicle i’ve tested if you don’t allow cheaters and you know that’s incredible and that wasn’t with a full battery charge I just you know drove it once they delivered it to my house so it had you know a decent amount of the charge maybe seventy five percent or so where it could still drive in the electric mode for a bit but it wasn’t fully charged and I did in comfort mode naughty Eco Pro and so it’s even possible for to do even better than that even better than 46 miles per gallon you know and if you charge it every time from your house you’re going

to get 15 or so miles without the engine ever kicking on if you don’t want it to and yet all the while this thing can hit 60 in 4.2 seconds I mean it really does it all it’s fast and it’s efficient and so many people think that combination isn’t possible and here’s BMW to prove everyone wrong so the car is decently light 3455 pounds and considering that you’ve got that big battery sitting between me and the passenger and you’ve got the electric motors up front it’s all-wheel drive you know that’s not too bad of a wait and that weight is evenly distributed amongst the front the rear so you’ve got about a 50-50 split apart of that thanks to the fact that this is a mid-engine design and this helps keep it really agile as far as the interior it’s actually really nice in here and when you put it over into this comfort mode you kind of forget that you’re in a supercar,  I mean it’s comfortable seats it’s a comfortable seating position you’ve got plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel so your knees aren’t coming into contact with it you’ve got great visibility out the front and to the sides which you don’t always get in cars of this level out the back is a little bit cramped looking back there but overall visibility and this is pretty good I also do like the display up front you know it changes depending on which mode you’re in and you’ve got all kinds of different information here on the main display to the right and so overall everything in here is fairly intuitive and pretty easy to use you know my one complaint would be the climate control system and I’ve brought this up in many other cars but basically you have to keep pressing this button let’s say you want the air blowing on your chest well scroll through you know six times or whatever you can finally find the one I don’t think system should be that difficult to find out how to get air to blow at your face you know I think it should be much more simple but you know that’s just a small gripe and in the big scheme of things this interior is fantastic so coming into some corners the body does stay really flat ease onto the accelerator as you pull out you actually don’t notice a difference in the brake pedals between the electric region and the disc brakes a nice progressive field to the brake pedals car staying really flat easy to control.

You don’t notice any wheel slip when you throttle out on the corners it pulls once you get out there man good strong brakes you know the steering feel it is pretty light and it may not be the fastest responding there’s probably some vehicles out there which have a little bit quicker response but overall it feels good and it feels easy to control in the corners there ok so we will test out the launch control no fancy combination you need to do all you do is turn off the traction control come to a stop hold your foot on the brake hold your foot on the gas let go off the brake and off you go so we will see how well it does and we’ve got great conditions today for once which is nice sunny and cool oh man that Bulls wow that is an awesome launch that electric torque I mean it’s just a media the second you let off the brake pedal you’re just getting launched that felt phenomenal now i’m going to go ahead and put it into the electric mode just to see so we are on the highway doing 70 miles an hour in purely electric modes the only noise we here comes from the wind and road itself i’d say primarily you just hear a little bit of road noise not really much wind noise and the maximum speed it can go in electric mode is 75 so let’s see what happens we’re doing 76 we’ve broken the machine and gone past the theoretical limit so it’s saying topping out at 76 I also like that when you press the button it automatically moves the gear shift over so if you’ve got it in sport and then you put it into e driver comfort it moves the lever right over now overall how is the 2017 BMW i8 well if this is any indication of the future of supercars it is something I am totally okay with it’s extremely fuel-efficient it’s really fast and it’s this perfect combination of both efficiency and fun to drive which I absolutely love this car is just immense I mean there’s really nothing that I don’t like about it the two most minor things will be the climate control and the fact that it has fake engine noise but other than that I mean this thing is you know it’s taking it to a different level it’s something that you don’t look at and think yes that’s going to go into production and it’s just amazing that a car like this exists so thank you guys for watching and if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave those below