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Secrets of the BMW i8 Revealed

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Just a few weeks ahead of its official debut at Frankfurt, BMW reveals the i8's performance and power specs.

Just a few days ago it was announced that the BMW i8 will have its official debut at Frankfurt next month. Before that event takes place, BMW has jumped the gun and has revealed the new high-performance sports car's official specs. Only down side? Still no pictures of the final production car. Fortunately, the plug-in hybrid i8 is very different than the i3 EV. Power comes from a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that sends 231 horsepower to the rear wheels while an electric motor provides 131 hp to the front wheels. Total output comes to 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.

There's also a torque vectoring AWD system for even better performance. It even has 50:50 weight distribution. Performance wise, BMW states that it can make the sprint to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. It will also achieve an impressive 95 mpg on the US cycle. Yeah, it's a very different machine than the i3, which has a top speed of just 93 mph and a 0-60 time of 7 seconds. But like the i3, the i8 features a lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell, which helps to keep total weight down to 3,285 lbs. True, that's not in the ultra-light category, but considering how much batteries weigh along with all of those electric gizmos, that's still damn impressive.

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