BMW has released new details about the 2014 i8, ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

BMW has released new details about the 2014 i8, ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Described as the "most progressive sports car of our time," the plug-in hybrid has short overhangs, an elongated roof and aerodynamically-optimized 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. The model also has "conspicuous aerodynamic features" which enable it to have a drag coefficient of just 0.26.

Interior pictures were not released but BMW said the cabin will feature naturally tanned leather seats and a 2+2 seating arrangement.

Motivation is provided by a 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder petrol engine that develops 231 HP (170 kW) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque. It is backed by an electric motor that contributes 131 HP (96 kW) and roughly 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor powers the front wheels, while the engine powers the rear wheels.

The powertrains can operate independently or together for a maximum output of 362 HP (266 kW) and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque. When this occurs, the model can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 4.5 seconds and hit an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Furthermore, the electric motor and engine give the model torque vectoring all-wheel drive.

If fuel efficiency is more important, the model can be driven on electricity alone for approximately 35 km (22 miles) at speeds up to 120 km/h (75 mph). When the battery is depleted, it can be fully recharged in less than two hours using a BMW i Wallbox or three hours using a conventional outlet.

Overall, BMW says the i8 will have an average fuel consumption of less than 2.5 liters/100 km (94 mpg US / 113 mpg UK) with CO2 emissions of less than 59 g/km.

To ensure the model is light as possible, it rides on the LifeDrive architecture and features a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, magnesium instrument panel supports and aluminum screws and bolts which are 45 percent lighter than conventional steel components. The car also has smartphone-like chemically-hardened glass which is roughly 50 percent lighter than laminated glass. All these weight saving measures add up as the i8 tips the scales at less than 1,490 kilograms (3,285 lbs).

Check out the press release for full details

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