A ride in BMW’s cars of the future
Paul Horrell heads to the Arctic with the BMW i8 and i3. Two of the cleverest cars… in the world
Posted: 24 Feb 2013
Why? Because it's designed to be a great drive on the roads, not at tracks. It won't keep up with an M3 lap after lap, because that would run down the battery. But they swear there's hardly a road where the regenerative braking of the hybrid system wouldn't be enough to keep the battery charge up. So it would always be ready to give the e-motor the full beans when your floor it.
By the same token, a maximum speed over 155mph would deplete the battery, but at a steady, limited 155 then the petrol engine can do all the work and the battery doesn't deplete.
And by designing for a 155 max, they can keep the tyres thin, the brakes small, the cooling system compact and light, the aerodynamics optimised for drag rather than ultra-high-speed downforce. That means the car is performing better and more economically at real-world speeds, rather than being compromised for unreal speeds.
The i8 goes on sale in spring 2014 and will cost about £100,000.