2015 BMW i8 Key Looks to Revolutionize How You Start Your Car

By Jacob Brown | December 19, 2013
What you're looking at isn't a transponder from Star Trek, although we wouldn't fault you if you thought it was.
Instead, it's the key to the 2015 BMW i8, which was recently leaked through BimmerFile, a website dedicated to BMWs and their various technologies. Obviously, it doesn't look like a key. It has a screen, and the car doesn't need any more than a radio signal from it to get going.
But what the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 uses it for is to show drivers how much electric range they have, how cool or warm the car is before getting in to maximize battery use, and how long the i8 has to charge, among other readouts. Other electric vehicle automakers have used smartphone apps in the past, but this is the first to have all of that diagnostic information available via the car key.
It will be part of BMW's ConnectedDrive infotainment suite and will be able to interact with the car. The 2015 BMW i8 just made its North American debut at November's Los Angeles Auto Show and will join the 2014 BMW i3 later next year in BMW's new "i" sub-brand of more environmentally friendly and tech-heavy vehicles. Starting at just over $136,000, the 2015 BMW i8 will be the first plug-in hybrid sports car from BMW, but we don't expect it to be BMW's last. Source: BimmerFile