BMW iPerformance’s halo model, the i8 Coupe has just received an update and will make its first public appearance at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The refreshed model boasts a larger battery pack, improved driving range and emissions as well as new aesthetic bits.
From the outside, the refreshed i8 is still as futuristic as when it first made its debut in 2014 and we won’t blame you if you can’t tell the two apart. Newly introduced items include an air shutter in the front hood, new wheel design option and a “Coupe” emblem at the C-pillar. You have to squint to tell that the headlamps are now more rectangular in shape.
Inside, the updated i8 benefits from an updated iDrive system with Navigation System Professional, optional Accaro interior trim in Amido/E-Copper and surround view camera. New E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic paintjobs have been added to the colour palette to round up the aesthetic changes.
The i8’s eDrive plug-in hybrid system now features better hardware that contributes to enhanced overall performance. The lithium-ion battery pack now has a gross energy capacity of 11.6 kWh (previously 7.1 kWh) while the electric motor now develops 140 hp, 9 hp more than before; torque figures remain at 250 Nm. Thanks to the improved electric drive system, the i8 now boasts a pure electric range of 55 km (from 35 km) with a top speed of 120 km/h.
The petrol engine remains as a 1.5-litre three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo that churns out 228 hp and 320 Nm of torque. With the petrol engine spinning at the rear axles and the electric motors driving the front wheels, the all-wheel-drive i8 boasts a maximum combined output of 368 hp.
Century sprint and top speed remain unchanged at 4.4 seconds and 250 km/h (limited) respectively but fuel consumption is down to 1.9 litres per 100 km thanks to the improved battery pack and electric motor.
BMW Malaysia made a bold move in 2015 to introduce the BMW i8 Coupe as the brand’s halo model with a price tag of RM1.2 million. Considering the company’s push for hybrid vehicles received overwhelming success, we can expect the updated i8 Coupe and possibly the Roadster version to arrive on our shores soon.