2011 Los Angeles Auto Show: 2012 BMW i8 Concept Debut

By Trevor Dorchies | November 14, 2011
What's New The going-green initiative spans far and wide enough that even German auto maker BMW is getting into the mix. The BMW i8 concept is making its first appearance stateside and is on display at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. Everything about BMW's latest attempt to be more eco-friendly screams "concept," from the exterior styling, to the futuristic steering wheel to the laser—yes, laser— headlights. A combination of lithium-ion batteries and a three-cylinder turbocharged engine powers the 3250 pound concept. BMW claims the i8 can go from 0-60 mph in a very respectable 4.6 seconds. Who It's For The BMW i8 concept is BMW's latest attempt to go-green without sacrificing modern amenities found in its normal gas-powered lineup. If the Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf doesn't offer enough technology or a posh enough interior, the BMW i8 hopes to fill that void. With the i8 being a hybrid the hurt at the pump will be less than that of a vehicle with a gas-powered engine. Key Features BMW has loaded its hybrid concept with the usual luxury and technology one comes to expect from the German auto maker. Some of these include:
  • A hybrid drivetrain. The i8 concept possesses lithium-ion battery packs and a three-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers power to the rear tires.
  • Futuristic interior. While we all know concept vehicle interior's rarely make the final cut for the production version the i8's inside still look cool.
  • Luxury. Currently the choices for hybrid vehicles are limited but with BMW getting into the fold it gives the consumer a luxury hybrid option not seen at this scale before.
What We Think At first glance, the 2012 BMW i8 concept looks straight out of a galaxy, far far away. The low-swooping roofline and slits cut out for windows looks like nothing else on the road today. Most concept vehicles morph dramatically before hitting the production line and we don't expect the i8 to get any special treatment.  However we do expect the futuristic technology and aristocratic interior to grace the i8 when and if this German-made concept hits the production line.