And why does it look like a BMW i8?
If hybrid hypercars are supposed to be the intermediate phase between the yowling V12 and the humming electric supercar, then Chinese car company Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) has just completed the final step of the transition. That is if these leaked photos hold any water. Even though the automaker is better known for its ripped off design blends, its first attempt at a supercar may be able to turn some heads and score some sales. The only question is, can the car be good enough to swim in highly competitive waters?
According to Autocar, the leaked images of BAIC's new car show an electrically powered two-seater that will show its face to the world at the Beijing Auto Show. While it looks unique enough to not be a rip off, it has some resemblance to the BMW i8. No official numbers have been mentioned, but Internet speculation says that the car will be capable of going from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0-seconds and hit a top speed of 162 mph. Three driving modes will ensure that the car can be at home in the streets in economy mode and comfort mode (with respective ground clearances of 120 mm and 100 mm) but retain the ability to shred tires in race mode with an 80 mm ground clearance. The range of the car is expected to be at least 186 miles on a single charge.
The problem with BAIC’s supercar is that despite the electric powertrain, these numbers aren’t “super” enough to actually make the car a supercar, unlike the blue Techrules TREV. A sub-three second launch to 60 mph is something that the Tesla Model S can pull off while no supercar would dare be caught huffing and puffing at its limits at the sub-200 mph mark. If these assumed numbers are true, the only edge this supercar would have is if it had a bargain basement price. If the BAIC supercar can bring this level of performance at a price of under $100,000 it may just be a success. After all, isn’t low cost the main reason why all of our goods are made in China anyways?