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BMW electric i8 sports car a trailblazer

BMW's i8 has touched down in Australia to set the standards for a new generation of sports car.

The i8 2+2 seater is a striking design with groundbreaking technology and points the way towards forthcoming BMW sporty cars in style and powertrains. A genuine performance vehicle, the i8 delivers impressive fuel economy and low emissions -- worthy of a small car.

It pairs light weight with optimised aerodynamics and cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology using a compact, turbocharged 1.5-litre BMW TwinPower turbo petrol engine and "intelligent" energy management.

It marks the next stage in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics strategy. The body features a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell and is in fact a low weight plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The i8 can operate solely on electric power, which means no tailpipe emissions, and offers the dynamic performance of a sports car, with an expected 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.4 seconds. The BMW i8's plug-in hybrid system is specific to this model. The 170kW three-cylinder engine drives the rear wheels and a 96kW electric motor drives the front wheels for a combined maximum output of 266 kW and 570 Nm of torque.

This configuration also offers all-electric driving capability with a range of up to 35 kilometres and a top speed of 120 km/h. Calculated using the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel consumption of the BMW i8 will be less than 2.1 litres/100km. Full pricing and specification for the BMW i8 will be available soon.

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