First official photos of BMW i8 leaked and the interior is, well, busy

first official photos of bmw i8 leaked and the interior is well busy side
The BMW i8 looks like a 6 Series that was put on a diet.

Last time BMW had an 8 Series – plug-in hybrid or otherwise – was 1999. Though BMW offered a slew cylinder options for its high-end coupe, our favorite was the V12. The original 8 Series was designed to attract a new kind of Bimmer buyer, one who wanted a bit more performance and refinement than the brand had ever embodied until that point.

Now we get to see BMW’s 21st century answer to the 8 Series: the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. And just look at it: it’s absolutely stunning. BMW designers have successfully taken the visual vibrancy of the 6 Series grand tourer and re-shaped it into a very elegant sports car.

Although a three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor – instead of a V8 or V12 – power the new i8, it is nonetheless the intellectual successor to the first 8 Series. It produces a combined 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, which will push it to 60 from a dead standstill in 4.5 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

The i8 isn’t all about looks and power. In electric only mode, it can go up to 22 miles on a single charge and hit 95 mph. Probably not at the same time, though.

BMW i8 interior

Open the gullwing doors and drivers will find the i8 interior continues the modern BMW sensibility with lots of gray and very few buttons. Despite its spare infotainment layout, the cabin of the i8 looks surprisingly busy. Shapes, levels, and color shifts dart around the dashboard, center console and door panels in a very un-BMW manner. We’re not sure we like the business of it. We’ve thought some current BMW interiors boring but this just goes too far in the other direction.

Just before these pictures were leaked, BMW released one last teaser video of the i8, which you can see below. If you’re hoping for the roar of an engine, keep looking. The i8 will probably be mostly silent, as the sound of a three-cylinder $100,000+ German sports car won’t likely set alight the souls of passersby.

The curtain officially drops at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week. Be sure to check back for more on the i8 and much, much more.

[Main image: Ecomento]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.
Cars

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford briefly flashed an enigmatic new model in a minute-long commercial starring Bryan Cranston. Its front end borrows styling cues from the 2019 Mustang, but it doesn't have a grille and its emblem is back-lit.
Cars

Tesla drops Full Self-Driving option from online configurator to spare ‘confusion’

Tesla no longer offers a Full Self-Driving (FSD) option for Models S, X, and 3 in the company's online configuration tool. CEO Elon Musk said the FSD option caused confusion. Its software validation and regulatory approval could take years.
Cars

U.K. on-demand car service plans autonomous vehicles in London by 2021

U.K.-based Addison Lee and Oxbotica allied to serve the connected and autonomous vehicle services market. Addison Lee is an established executive car service and Oxbotica develops self-driving car systems and fleet management software.
Cars

Protect yourself (and maybe capture something crazy) with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.