Published on April 17th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW i8 is finally available in Malaysia
BMW fans have long awaited the arrival of the BMW i8 in our country, what with BMW’s pinnacle of achievement over the course of the past few decades or so being absent from our market. The i8 has been out for a while now in other regions, and the Sultan of Johor himself took ownership of one of these prior to the public launch. It’s a hybrid car through-and-through, with a plug in system for in-situ charging.
But it’s finally arrived on our shores, and there was no better occasion to launch it than at the BMW World Malaysia event that was announced earlier in the year. The stunning ‘supercar’ goes for a hefty RM 1,188,800, on the road without insurance. To be fair that’s not all too crazy a price to be paying for such a stunning piece of technology, as some Porsches are capable of setting you back by that amount.
The i8 is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine and an electric motor working in tandem. The engine is similar to that of the 3-cylinder TwinPowerTurbo engines that are powering many of BMW’s current models, but it’s fettled to produce a stonking 231 PS and 320 Nm of torque. The electric motor alone provides 131 PS and 250 Nm of torque from near zero rpm. Together, the system works to produce 362 PS and 570 Nm of torque.
Being the fairer of the two BMW “i” models, the i8 is poised to be both a proof-of-concept and a strong marketing tool for BMW’s plug-in hybrid technology. It features the full suite of EfficientDynamics technology, as well as all the BMW gadgets and features you’d expect in their ultimate model. The electric mode for the i8 functions for up to 35 km, at speeds of up to 120 km/h- far more useable than the EV modes in other hybrid models.
But ultimately while the i8 is supposed to represent what BMW can do when no holds are barred, the switchgear and the design cues are strikingly similar to their other passenger cars- perhaps even too similar. It tends to root the i8 in all it’s ‘supercar’ glory back in BMW’s mass market image, rather than being something truly unique. Although perhaps this is a good thing, as it shows that cars like the i8 could become a mass-market reality.