When things are done right, it shows. BMW hit the target with the BMW I sub as well as its models. Cars that are totally innovative in many ways even several years after its launch. And it is not that we say it, but brands like Mercedes are working on rivals for the BMW i, as is the sub that the star has called ‘EQ’ and whose first model will be a rival for the BMW i8. Audi is reportedly launching another hybrid sports car to compete with the BMW i8 and even DS Automobiles, the premium brand of the French group PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles and very recently, Opel) is reportedly considering the possibility of creating a Models.
The BMW i8 is a model that leaves no one indifferent. Visually it is a spectacle, capable of drawing attention anywhere. Technologically it is the latest in everything, with a hybrid engine with more than 360 hp that achieves a consumption more typical of less efficient models, although many owners complain that their performance does not match their incredible appearance. And if we talk about technology or construction methods we enter an almost ‘universe’, with energy from renewable sources, recycled materials, and a modular construction.
Taking advantage of the interest in the BMW i8 by the rest of manufacturers, we will remember its beginnings. The first steps of i8 are, if possible, even more, spectacular although it differs greatly from the production model. Because if. Like many other cars, the BMW i8 started being a prototype or at least, the idea of the production model was born of a concept. To know this prototype, we have to travel to 2008, to the celebration of the Frankfurt Motor Show, when the brand unveils in its stand the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept. A surprising technological compendium that looked for the greatest benefits, with the minimum consumption, all this wrapped with a ‘carcass’ simply surprising.
Closer to a spacecraft than a car, the Vision EfficientsDynamics Concept collected the whole experience of BMW in competition, its knowledge in hybrid engines and all systems to contain consumption and emissions, but without the loss of typical sportsmanship Brand, in a single car. According to BMW, it was the best-performing hybrid they had ever introduced and made many others laughable at the time. In fact, it continues to make many current hybrids seem ridiculous.
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Surprised in many sections as is obviously the aesthetic. But under that incredible picture was hidden the modular construction of the BMW i8, with an aluminum chassis and body elements in carbon fiber or, as with the roof and doors, polycarbonate. The solution that did not come to production as neither came its engine although it looks tremendously to that used by the BMW i8. The Vision Efficient Dynamics is a hybrid, yes, but it is a diesel hybrid. It was the era in which every diesel engine was a success, they were the future of the automobile and the salvation of the planet by its low emissions and consumptions.
It has already been seen that diesel was far from being ‘clean’, at least with the configuration of that time and the best example is that few hybrids arrived on the street with diesel engines and those who arrived, lasted little. Not even the BMW i8 is a diesel hybrid, although derived from our protagonist. But that yes, and as we are going to tell you now, share striking things.
The Vision Efficient Dynamics hybrid engine consisted of (and is not destroyed) a 1,500 cc and three-cylinder diesel engine with 163 hp and 290 Nm, assisted by two electric motors, one between the gearbox and the Combustion engine with 34 hp ‘constant’ and another on the front axle with 82 hp and 220 Nm continuously but could reach 114 hp for 30 seconds or 139 hp for only 10 seconds. The joint power reached 356 hp and torque at 800 Nm, while consumption was at 3.76 liters according to European cycle.
Compared with the i8, we find that they share engine configuration; A three-cylinder inline 1,500 cubic centimeters Twin Power Turbo, but in this almost fueled by gasoline and with 231 hp, while there is only one electric motor in the front axle with 131 hp. The total declared power is 362 hp and the approved consumption is 2.1 liters per 100 km on average. Very similar figures although being totally sincere, the consumption of just over two liters is a utopia provoked by the European homologation cycle. Nefarious in its homologation cycle and in its measurements.
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A rolling show that is not only fast, also respectful of the environment or at least intended. Surprised by its appearance, its performance (the highest specific power of a diesel at the time) and a demonstration of technological and technical power. And 9 years have passed since its creation …