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Boomer23
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BMW i8

Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:41 pm

I'm convinced that we need to have separate threads for the BMW i3 and the i8. They are very different cars and different technologies and we are going to be getting a lot of information on both of them in the coming year and beyond. Those who are keenly interested will want specific threads that focus on both of these cars independently.

Here is the first article that has anything technical about the i8 that I have seen. According to the author, BMW is convinced that the GM Volt's design is the best one to emulate for a performance PHEV. So they hired away one of GM's chief Volt engineers to help design the i8 drive train. That being known, it is less than surprising that parts of the i8 drive train will resemble those in the Volt.

This article may have quite a bit of speculation in it, but it is the first one that I've seen that looks behind the flash and hype to tell us something about the car's details.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11451833 ... a-bmw.html
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Boomer23
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Re: BMW i8

Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:10 pm

Actually, BMW has some details now posted on its own i8 site.

The drive train...
combines the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept – fitted over its front axle – with a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at the rear.


http://www.bmw-i.com/en_ww/bmw-i8/
Last edited by Boomer23 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BMW i8

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:33 pm

Nice looking car for a hybrid. :) What is the target price range of this vehicle ?
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Boomer23
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Re: BMW i8

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:52 pm

KJD wrote:Nice looking car for a hybrid. :) What is the target price range of this vehicle ?


Assume over $100k. I've read that this model will top BMW's range and the price will reflect it, since it includes BMW's top level technologies of carbon fiber construction, electric drive and performance-oriented ICE drivetrain.
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Re: BMW i8

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:32 pm

Boomer23 wrote:This article may have quite a bit of speculation in it, but it is the first one that I've seen that looks behind the flash and hype to tell us something about the car's details.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11451833 ... a-bmw.html


Sorry, that story makes little or no sense. BMW doesn't need a "project manager" (i.e. a non-technical guy) from GM to teach them how to do a PHEV. It is not rocket science. Moreover - you can't hire a person from GM & create a drivetrain that looks like a GM drive-train. That would be asking for trouble in the courts.

The first modern PHEVs were created for the defence forces. Fisker got the idea from one of those creators. Volt didn't come up with the "idea" of a PHEV - which is essentially what the author "thinks". He also "thinks" the sun gears were invented by GM - it was invented many decades ago by George Gleb et al (http://www.c-maxenergi.com/2011/02/geor ... drive.html).
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Boomer23
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Re: BMW i8

Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:38 pm

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Re: BMW i8

Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:05 pm

Leaked photos of an i8 Spyder concept ahead of the New York Show next week. This concept has solid doors, where the original concept had clear doors. Stay tuned to the blogs for more about this Spyder to see what BMW plans for production.

http://blogs.insideline.com/straightlin ... eaked.html
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Re: BMW i8

Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:39 pm

evnow wrote:
Boomer23 wrote:This article may have quite a bit of speculation in it, but it is the first one that I've seen that looks behind the flash and hype to tell us something about the car's details.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11451833 ... a-bmw.html


Sorry, that story makes little or no sense. BMW doesn't need a "project manager" (i.e. a non-technical guy) from GM to teach them how to do a PHEV. It is not rocket science. Moreover - you can't hire a person from GM & create a drivetrain that looks like a GM drive-train. That would be asking for trouble in the courts.

The first modern PHEVs were created for the defence forces. Fisker got the idea from one of those creators. Volt didn't come up with the "idea" of a PHEV - which is essentially what the author "thinks". He also "thinks" the sun gears were invented by GM - it was invented many decades ago by George Gleb et al (http://www.c-maxenergi.com/2011/02/geor ... drive.html).


The guy they hired was the Volt's chief engineer. So he was party to most of the important decision made during its development. Having this knowledge could be a big advantage.

In regards to the Volt not being rocket science, It has more software than a fighter plane, see link:

http://www.eetimes.com/discussion/-incl ... Chevy-Volt

“I thought of fighter aircraft as complex software projects at four to six million lines of code,” Selfe related. “But the Volt has ten million lines. "

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Re: BMW i8

Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:27 am

DER SPIEGEL Online, a German publication similar to the Time Magazine, is running a story on the i8 ahead of the NY Auto Show. They have a nice pictorial to go along with it:

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Re: BMW i8

Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:15 am

evnow wrote:Sorry, that story makes little or no sense. BMW doesn't need a "project manager" (i.e. a non-technical guy) from GM to teach them how to do a PHEV. It is not rocket science. Moreover - you can't hire a person from GM & create a drivetrain that looks like a GM drive-train. That would be asking for trouble in the courts.
You haven't understood the article. The article isn't contending that GM invented the planetary gearset, much less the sun gear. It's pointing out that the basic architecture of the motors and drive train mimic that of the Volt. Specifically the article points out how the online orientation of the engine, generator, and traction motor (which is unique to the Volt), combined with locating the battery in the center of the car, makes the architecture of the i8 more or less identical to that of the Volt's. You're also mistaken about the role Frank Weber plays. He's the head technical person not the project manager. IOW he's the guy who decides on the architecture.

We'll see how much else is borrowed from the Volt. If BMW also uses a planetary gearset then we may have some interesting legal issues. But keep in mind that BMW was a partner with GM on the two-mode system, and the Voltec is a very clever derivative of two-mode. Plus BMW may have come up with some interesting technology of its own. So maybe there are licensing possibilities we don't know about. (Not saying there are just pointing out that there may be).

The Voltec drivetrain is a technological tour de force, providing better performance and more efficiency. Compared to this, the single reduction gear in the Leaf is primitive. From a marketing perspective BMW will have trouble using a single reduction gear because the performance won't be the "zoom-zoom" it needs as a brand. It has tried to address this limitation on the i3 by making the car small and light. That helps somewhat but if it uses a single reduction gear you'll see the same acceleration fade you see on the Leaf. No idea if that's the case but probably so given the electronically limited 93 MPH speed.

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