BMW Malaysia has launched the new BMW i8 coupe here at the Auto Bavaria showroom along Jalan Tun Razak to further solidify its foray into the realm of electric mobility. The new BMW i8 is not only a showcase of powertrain improvements but also aerodynamic efficiency.
You get an electric motor powering the front wheels, while a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine powers the rear wheels. The internal combustion engine’s power is channelled to the rear wheels through a six-speed Steptronic transmission, while the electric motor drives the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox.
The battery pack rests in the car’s underbody for a lower centre of gravity, where its capacity has been increased to offer an electric driving range of up to 55 km (previously 35 km). As for the 1.5-litre engine, BMW has managed to squeeze out 231 hp with 320 Nm of torque.
The combined output of both the electric motor and engine has increased from 362 hp to 374 hp but 0 to 100 km/h still takes 4.4 seconds like before, strangely.
The BMW i8’s body is made up of air flaps, air curtains, a sealed underbody, “Stream Flow” lines along the sides and air ducts between the rear lights to make sure it’s as slippery as possible through the wind.
Elsewhere, the BMW gets new 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels in radial-spoke style, that’s just far more suited to the silhouette of the car.
Inside the 2+2 seater cabin, is a cockpit that focuses on the driver – an aspect that’s been vital to BMW’s interior design. All controls and display elements are within arm’s reach of the driver and is easily readable.
The cockpit is fitted out with the BMW Head-up Display, where in Sport Mode, changes to display engine revs, gears and shift lights during gear changes.
There’s an 8.8-inch touchscreen display, utilising the iDrive operating system, which can also be controlled by the touch controller on the centre console.
Open-pored carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) trims occupy the centre console, door handles and dashboard inlay, the ceramic controls of the iDrive Controller with an embossed i8 logo, and the ceramic finish on the gear lever.
The new BMW i8 exterior comes in Crystal White with a Frozen Grey highlights or the new BMW Individual special paintwork Donington Grey, with the interior in Black Amido or Accaro respectively.
The new BMW i8 is priced at RM1,310,800 (OTR without insurance) and comes with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty with Free Scheduled Service Program, 2-year/24-month Tyre Warranty Programme for its Run Flat Tyre offering and services, BMW Roadside Assistance & Accident Hotline and the BMW White Card.