With BMW having already announced to the world the creation of its new ‘i’ sub-brand, through which the Bavarians intend to market a line of stand-alone hybrid, range-extended and full-electric plug-in vehicles, the company is now concentrating on the development of the first cars to wear the i logo.
In this series of spy videos, we see the
test driver sub-brand’s halo car, the i8 hybrid sports coupe, which is based on the 2009’s Vision Efficient Dynamics concept model, undergoing cold weather tests in Northern Europe.
Up until now, it was believed that the i8 would keep the concept model’s mechanical hardware with a 163HP 1.5-liter three-cylinder diesel engine located behind the back seats, and two electric motors, one positioned between the diesel engine and the six-speed double clutch transmission, and the other in the front of the vehicle.
But while the electric motors will remain, in a recent interview with Autocar, BMW R&D chief Klaus Draeger revealed that the diesel unit will be replaced with a gasoline engine in the production model. “We want to sell it all over the world. Diesel is only really relevant to Europe,” Draeger was quoted as saying.
The i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is scheduled to arrive in the market along with the i3 small hatchback (previously known as the Megacity) in 2013.