The pickings are slim these days for aesthetically pleasing hybrid vehicles, but BMW aims to change that with its i8 plug-in hybrid concept. We got a chance to see the i8 concept at the Geneva Auto Show, and the car was even hotter in person. The car’s low profile and swooping, gull wing doors and aggressive lines are borrowed from the hyper-sport world of exotic speed machines. Its specifications are equally enticing, featuring a modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept – fitted over its front axle – with a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque at the rear.
With a 0-62MPH time of under 5 seconds and a 94MPG estimate fuel consumption, the BMW i8 is promising to be an efficient powerplant. The i8 can also travel up to 20MPH on the electric drive alone and since the combustion engine and electric motor are both positioned directly over the rear axles, the car is projected to have a 50/50 weight distribution for killer handling. The car will feature specialty technology like laser lighting in the headlights and a refined touchscreen LCD dash interface, in addition to a 2 + 2 seating arrangement for true sport-like ergonomics. The good news about this concept hybrid is that BMW plans to bring it the market in 2014.