A few days ago, a video showing one of the most widely anticipated cars in BMW‘s history hit the net. Originally posted by the guys over at Bimmerpost, the rare video highlights a hard acceleration in Sport mode from a standstill in a pre-production i8 that is being used for testing. For what it is, this thing really gets up and goes.
Apparent in the video is the gauge cluster that rapidly climbs to 130 kph (80 mph). With a projected 0-62 time of 4.4 seconds, the i8 shouldn’t have a problem getting to 80 faster than most get to 60. On first glance, the LCD display is a tad reminiscent of the one found in the Lexus LFA. Since the motor in the i8 won’t exactly rev from idle to a 9,000 RPM redline in 0.6 seconds, the futuristic styling most likely relates back to aesthetics and it’s Eco-friendly mission.
It is fairly common knowledge to BMW and car enthusiasts that the company sometimes uses a technology called ASD (Active Sound Design) in select vehicles. Originally debuting in the BMW M5, it is currently used in models such as the M135i, M3, M4, M5, and M6. The technology aims to bring more engine noise into the passenger compartment, reminding those inside of it’s readiness and ability to perform. In generating its signals, ASD takes its cues from the firing sequence of the engine and the frequency range of the exhaust system. This gives the driver an extremely accurate impression of current engine load and an even more intense sensation of the car’s performance characteristics.
However, the Active Sound Design system on the i8 goes a step further. Interestingly enough, ASD will be audible from the exterior as well. For example, the dual outlets in the back aren’t both used for exhaust. The left side actually acts as an external speaker for the ADS system. The right exhaust pipe is the one used for regular engine emissions. The exterior and interior system does not come with an option to disable it. Luckily, the i8 in the above video had all ASD disabled for the purposes of testing, thus giving us a clear idea of the natural sounds that the car emits. It’s a rather remarkable feat to make the i8’s three cylinder turbocharged engine sound more like an F1 car than a hybrid when mashing the accelerator.
Butterfly doors and some impressive performance numbers aside, the EPA rating may be a tad bit more admirable at the end of the day. With a starting price of $135,700, deliveries of the 90+ mpg i8 will begin in the United States in June of this year.