A sports car at first glance. Extremely low and wide when viewed from the front, a flat silhouette, powerfully-formed surfaces and precise lines. A second look reveals the well-planned revolution. With design dedicated to function. Sustainability and efficiency meet their equals in dynamics and sportiness. The street is the stage on which the BMW i8 displays how these ideals interact: hugging the ground in typical BMW style as it glides along.
Long wheelbase, short overhangs, solid status as it crouches on the street: the BMW i8 has all the characteristics of a full-blooded sports car. The front appears extremely low and wide. Everything is arranged to be optimally aerodynamic. At the same time, the flat, but prominent double kidney grill makes this vehicle’s origins clear. A V-shaped ‘black belt’ starts on the bonnet and dynamically wraps around the bodyshell to the rear.
Viewed from the side, the exaggerated wedge shape, the long drawn-out lines and the flat silhouette underscore the dynamics and fulfil the expectations one has of a sports car. From the front to the rear, the car has a very dynamic, three-dimensional appearance. Surfaces and lines overlap and interlock, a method known as ‘layering’. This joins all the surfaces harmoniously and allows compact and unbelievably agile look. Its monolithic appearance lends the BMW i8 its extraordinarily powerful stature.
Off to a swinging start: the special sports car aspect of the BMW i8 is unmistakeable after just a glance at the spectacular scissor doors. The prominent scissor doors – which swing upwards when opened – are an optical highlight and blend perfectly in the smooth lines of the aerodynamic bodyshell. From the inside, the doors emphasise the entire sporty character of the interior and guide the driver’s gaze forward. The decorative door handle is ergonomically located in the inside of the door panel.
LED headlights are standard in the BMW i8 and go perfectly with the exceptional sports car concept. All lighting elements are completely in LED and low-beam and high-beam are widely spaced. The optional high-beam headlights with laser light technology* includes a typical BMW i U-shaped frame, from which the running lights and the built-in indicators are operated. A second, wide light frame surrounds the innovative laser light unit and emphasises its three-dimensionality. a passively lit blue band signalises the lighting unit’s innovative technology. In the equipment with laser light, the headlights have a brilliant metallic side cover rather than a dark one. The overall impression of the light concept is unmistakeably BMW i8.
The consistently sporty look of the exterior is continued seamlessly in the interior of the BMW i8. In the interior, the layering principle creates a novel relationship between functionality and clear form. All elements are light and dynamically positioned. The equipment lines ‘Carpo’ and ‘Neso’ employ the particularly light leather ‘Spheric’. This material, used for the first time in a series-production vehicle, is over 20 per cent lighter than regular leather. Lightweight construction is implemented visually; for example, the visible carbon elements in the door sill highlight its low weight.
A classic sports car character and the typical BMW driver orientation are both equally prominent in the design of the BMW i8. The centre console is aligned towards the driver. All the instruments and signs in the digital instrument panel, with its two large displays, are simple to use. Passengers all sit particularly close to the ground and the narrow lightweight seats provide reliable support and a high level of comfort even when cornering rapidly. The iDrive Controller is conveniently located on the centre console that optically bisects the vehicle.
Colour and material design underscores the guiding idea of a smart, sustainable sports car concept. Three equipment lines – ‘Halo’, ‘Carpo’ and ‘Neso’ – differ in terms of materials used. ‘Halo’ and ‘Carpo’ are full leather equipment; ‘Halo’ is the top of the range with leather tanned in olive leaf extract and ‘Carpo’ comes in two colours, ‘Ivory White’ and ‘Amido’. The equipment concept ‘Neso’ is the most direct implementation of future-orientated mobility: a pure and clever blend of resource-saving materials that contrast with each other and evoke modern sportiness in every detail. The use of lightweight and recycled materials in all the material concepts proves that sustainability doesn’t herald the end of premium products, but instead, shows where their future lies.