We were expecting the new BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe that made its grand entrance in production trim at the Frankfurt auto show this week to be expensive, but now we know precisely what that means in Benjamin Franklins.
Not taking into account any federal or state incentives for which it may qualify, the 2014 BMW i8 will be priced from $135,700 plus destination and handling fee when it arrives in showrooms across the United States in spring of next year.
What you get for that kind of cash is a high-tech piece of Bavarian machinery with a slippery shape, seating for four, more carbon fiber and lightweight materials that you could ever imagine, and an advanced hybrid powertrain.
The latter links a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine developing 228hp (231 PS) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque that drives the rear wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox and a synchronous electric motor developing 129hp (96kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque turning the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission. A 5 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling complete the setup.
Overall, the powertrain delivers a combined system output of 362 PS (357hp) and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque for 0 to 62mph (100 km/h) sprint in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Fuel consumption (with the use of the battery) on the EU combined cycle is quoted at 2.5 liters per 100 km or 94 mpg US.
It would be interesting to see what other sports coupes you would look at in this price range (~$120,000 to $150,000). A few of cars that come to mind and which are evidently very different in character and philosophy, would be the SRT Viper, Porsche 911 Turbo and Nissan GT-R Track Pack. Think about it and tell us in the comments below.