Caught! More BMW i8 Design Cues Exposed to the Elements

December 14, 2012
BMW I8 Test Mule Left Front 1
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New BMW i8 spy shots reveal more of the plug-in hybrid sports car's design details through its blue and white swirl camouflage. This is the second time this year the BMW i8 PHEV has been spotted testing in snowy conditions.
Though the i8 test mule carries over some of the concept car’s features, some of the detailing has been revised. Up front, the kidney grille shape remains, but the surrounding trim appears thicker, though this might be unique to the prototype. Also, the headlight shape looks more production ready. The aggressive swoop on the fascia on each side of the lower air intake remains, though bits of camo hide whether the air intake is as large and pronounced as that of the concept car.
From the side, we see BMW’s Hofmeister kink and get a better look at the quarter window. Door handles have been moved from the door skin to the back side of the door, similar to those on current Corvette models. The i8’s rear windshield is far more reserved than the wild detailing on the concept, and on this prototype, it appears that the revised taillights are not yet functional.
This isn't the first time we’ve seen the BMW i8 cold-weather testing, which is important for an electric or hybrid electric car as extreme temperatures can negatively affect the battery pack. On the concept, the i8’s 7.2 kW-hr battery pack supplies power to the 129 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque electric motor, which then routes power through a single-speed gear reduction transmission to the front axle. Rear wheels are powered by a rear-mounted, 220-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder engine (essentially half a 3.0-liter I-6), which produces 221 lb-ft of torque. Expect a six-speed transmission to route power from the gas engine to the rear wheels.
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