Whichever way you look at it, the upcoming i8 coupe is no doubt the most innovative BMW sports car of recent times, and all for good reason as the Bavarian automaker is making every effort to impress, from the plug-in hybrid powertrain to the extensive use of lightweight materials throughout.
As BMW intensifies testing across Europe, our spies are getting closer to the prototypes and this time, they were able to take a couple of shots of the interior.
While the exterior styling of the production model is modeled after the second concept version of the i8 with changes to certain details like the door handles, headlamps and bumpers (the taillights are not real on this model), the interior is completely different.
Unless the German brand has fitted the test car with a fake interior, the styling of the dashboard is in line with other BMW products replacing the i8 Concept's futuristic looking digital instrument panel with a conventional four-gauge layout and obtaining a large center console tilted towards the driver.
The production model will use a similar plug-in hybrid powertrain to the i8 Coupe and Spyder concepts, which combine a mid-mounted, 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine with 217hp (220PS) and 300Nm (221 lb-ft) turning the rear wheels with a single 129hp electric motor driving the front axle.
With both engines working, there's 344-horses (349PS) and an as of yet, undisclosed amount of peak torque on tap
BMW has estimated that i8 Coupe will return a 0-62mph (100km/h) acceleration time of under five seconds and an average fuel consumption in the European cycle of about 3.0lt/100km (78.4 mpg US or 94.2 mpg UK), which likely includes the use of the electric motor.
The i8's Drive components are largely made out of aluminum, while further weight savings come from the carbon-fiber skeleton and body shell.
The Bavarian firm's first i-branded sports car will arrive about a year after the i3 supermini in 2014 and according to company officials, will cost more than €100,000 (~US$124,000 at today's exchange rates).
Photo Credits: CarPix via CarScoop