BMW’s latest offering is arguably its most ground breaking innovation yet. The i8 is BMW’s answer to supercars like Ferrari and Lamborghini. With the i8, BMW takes to the road of the future of the high-performance automobile and recast it into an eco-friendly, energy-conscious era. The i8 sports a sleek, streamlined 1.5 liter three-cylinder motor shared with the Mini range, and bares batteries and electric motors in order to produce a power output of 354 horsepower. Its lightweight structure and all-wheel drive system serve two masters: maximum performance with low energy consumption.
The i8 is set to use a new lightweight lithium-ion battery pack that will be placed behind the center of the vehicle’s wheels. As opposed to the regular gasoline engine, the electric motor will power the front wheels instead. This helps the BMW i8 deal with cornering, fast and sharp turns, off-camber turns and through-turns without losing power as the front wheels lose traction.
The i8 uses an advanced twin-screw gas-electric powertrain that also recycles air fuel and generates electricity to power the car’s front, rear and mid-engine parts. It utilizes the same powertrain technology as the Golf and Gran Turismo, but with a tighter fit. As such, the i8 shares much of the structural similarities with its larger, more expensive competitor, the Toyota Prius.
The it’s electrically assisted power transmission functions in a similar fashion to its competitors. However, it also incorporates what is considered one of the industry’s most innovative systems to date. The Electronic Drive Control (EDC) system not only helps the driver maintain a constant manual speed but also can help the car reaches a desired energy delivery with a quick jaunt up to a desired speed. The Electronic Docking System, or EDS, also allows the car to more effectively absorb the torque of added wheel speed. A variable rate electronic control system with variable gear changes and anti-lock brakes can also be used.
Although the it’s electric powertrain does not include a hydrogen battery, the company has plans to introduce a series of zero-emission vehicles over the next few years. Plans are currently in the development stages, so please stay tuned. We will also continue to keep you apprised of any and all i8 related news and developments. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how the i8 matches up to the competition.
Despite having a larger passenger capacity than many smaller cars, the new Honda Civic offers excellent fuel economy. The all-electric version gets 18 mpg in the city, as opposed to the Civic’s 20 mpg rating on an electric model. Even with all the extra power brought about by its electric motor, the Civic manages to retain an extremely low standing area when empty, something that most cars don’t have room for. The Civic’s gasoline gallon rating is just 3.5 gallons, versus the Ford Focus’s record of seven. All told, the all-electric version gets a pretty good score for fuel economy.
One of the biggest factors in determining a vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating is the total number of miles driven. The it’s standard equipment, a nine-speed automatic transmission, proves to be quite effective when it comes to mileage. Compared to other hatchbacks, the i8’s transmission performs well when changing speeds. Its gear changes are quick and smooth, allowing drivers to remain on track without losing any time or distance. Unfortunately, despite its impressive fuel efficiency numbers, the Civic proves to be a bit noisier, despite its smaller size.
In terms of safety, the Civic is deemed to be average in both safety ratings. However, the car does manage to edge out the front-seat competitor by a score of twelve to one when comparing passenger safety. This improvement over the outgoing i8 coupe is fairly small, but it still makes the sedan class safer overall. And finally, despite its small curb appeal, the i8 coupe manages to win the hearts of fashion-conscious male drivers. The coupe’s subtlety and understated design manages to combine elements of aerodynamics and classic design with sporty and functional elements, resulting in a classy ride and powerful performance. Overall, the new Honda Civic may not be as fast as the big hatchbacks we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, but it sure does make a strong fashion statement.