The BMW i8 has been revealed in full production trim a little earlier than BMW had planned. These two pictures have leaked onto the web ahead of the car's official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 10.
First revealed as the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept at the Frankfurt show in 2009, the i8 has changed significantly on its journey towards the showroom. Fortunately though, distinctive design cues like the floating flying buttresses, which stand proud of the bodywork at the back of the car, have been carried over. To add some drama, the top-hinged scissor doors also remain, along with the overal low-slung proportions.
It appear the doors are no longer made entirely of tinted glass though, like the concept, while the wheel design and position of the charging port has moved to the front wheel arch.
The interior is similar to the current crop of BMWs, with a wide display screen on top of the dash, a touch-sensitive iDrive dial and a familiar gearlever. The steering wheel is a unique design though, along with the blue-tinged TFT instrument cluster.
As revealed when we drove a camouflaged prototype of the i8 recently, thanks to its carbon-fibre and aluminium structure the plug-in i8 tips the scale at 1,490kg, despite a heavy battery pack under the floor. It combines an electric motor with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine for a total output of 357bhp and 570Nm of torque - that's enough to fire the i8 from 0-62mph in under 4.5 seconds, while claimed fuel economy and CO2 emissions are 113mpg and less than 59g/km.
Prices are expected to start from around £90,000 when the i8 goes on sale early next year. We'll bring you full details and more pictures the moment the covers come off in Frankfurt next week.