While this is not be indicative of anything as far as Mzansi is concerned, it may be worth noting that BMW has priced its new i8 super hybrid in the United States. Basic trim is going to cost US$135 700, which is about R1.4 million over here. However, should we believe that this starting price is possible here too, then we can certainly dream of a likely final launch price.

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Taking into account all sorts of import duties, other government taxes and margins, we reckon that a starting price of R1.95 million would not be too bad for our local i8. Then again, this being a sort of halo, highly technologically-advanced sports car, BMW would probably want to put a nice premium on it and price it just above the R2 million mark. Who knows.

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What we do know is that the i8 is powered by a pair made up of a 1.5-litre petrol turbo engine displacing three cylinders and developing 170kW and 320Nm of torque. The other partner is an electric motor accompanied by a liquid-cooled 5kWh lithium-ion battery pack making 96kW and 250Nm. All in all we are looking at a system output of 266kW and 570Nm of torque.

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BMW says it can sprint from 0 – 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 250km/h. Amazingly they are quoting 2.5 litres per 100km for average fuel consumption, with the i8 able to travel distances of up to 35km on electricity alone (that is with the petrol engine switched off).

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The BMW i8 is scheduled to begin sales in South Africa in 2015, months after the smaller, more practical i3 all-electric car.


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