BMW i8 Production Now Underway – Detailed Images


BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

The BMW i8 is now rolling down the production line in Germany.

As is always the case, production will initially move slowly so that BMW can work out any kinks, but still it’s our pleasure to announce that one more plug-in vehicle is now officially in production.

BMW released several detailed images of the i8 production process and include an 8-page PDF (link below) highlighting the unique assembly of the i8.  Here’s a snippet of that PDF:

“The CFRP passenger cell makes its way from the body shop to the assembly where, on the BMW i8 assembly line, its customer-specific equipment is fitted. At the same time, the engine components are pre-assembled on the drivetrain line. This is the final step before the ‘marriage’, during which the CFRP passenger cell and the aluminum chassis are bonded together. The two units are also bolted together at four points. The result is optimal stiffness and strength. Only then is the BMW i8 given its final exterior skin.”

“The assembly line for the BMW i8 comprises a total of 14 work cycles. In a last step, the sports car makes it way to the finishing shop together with the i3 and the other BMW vehicles built in Leipzig, where comprehensive quality controls are performed.”

“At 20 hours, the total processing time in the body shop and on the assembly line is only half of what would be required in a conventional production process. This is due to the parallel assembly processes and the fact that the CFRP structure comprises fewer parts.”

The BMW i8 will go on sale in Germany and then parts of Europe almost immediately after it rolls off the line.  US-bound BMW i8s should arrive in either June or July.

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

8 page detailed PDF on the BMW i8 production process.

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

BMW i8 Production

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16 Comments on "BMW i8 Production Now Underway – Detailed Images"

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it’s easy for people to breathlessly post about how “awesome” a car is that they never actually intend to buy just because it makes some claim to being “EV” in some way; but not only have I not been particularly impressed by the claims of the i8 being an “EV” but not even particularly blown away by the design.

to me, the whole notion of EV “performance” cars is crazy because when you waste battery charge, it takes a lot longer to recharge than it does to fill up at the tank. so if hot-dogging on the road is what you want to do, you are better off with an ICE vehicle.

Not entirely true. Corner after corner, this design will at least offer some recovery of otherwise wasted energy. This only has 1.5l displacement, yet accelerates 0-60 in 4.4 seconds like a 4.0l V8 M3. The Porsche 918 holds the production car record on the Nurburgring. The McClaren out accelerates a 16cyl Vernon 0-100 with only a 3.8l engine and no gas guzzler tax. The performance and efficiency of these cars are exceptional when compared to pure ICE vehicles.

what I find so nonsensical about EV “performance cars” is that you quickly use up the stored battery charge. then after you have used up the stored battery charge it takes longer to recharge than it would to fill a gasoline tank. “regen” cannot be relied upon because the amount of energy that you get back from slowing down is a lot less than the energy it takes to regain speed.

the energy density of stored battery charge is much less than the energy density of gasoline, so EV’s are better suited to drivers who use energy conserving driving techniques.

no comment, your post are very suspicious. A lot of people could use a performance car where they occasionally used “80 miles” of energy to only go “40 or 50 miles” on their daily commute and VERY easily recharge overnight while they are sleeping. Tesla drivers do this daily.

‘no comment has no idea what he is talking about. ICE + battery + regen braking ( PHEV) is the ideal. Even better for performance cars. Reasons:
1) Can reduce engine size, giving more efficiency when not accelerating rapidly. Saves gas for most normal driving
2) Recovers energy wasted when braking
3) Saves energy by not hauling large battery pack all the time. Also reduces mining of rare earth minerals, which themselves cause pollution and take huge amount of energy.
4) Uses power from battery when needed for fast acceleration.

And I didn’t even mention them being green with no range anxiety. So, these are the best.

The only problem is the price. At least the BMW i8 is too expensive.

I have a Chevrolet Volt; during the year I get between 25-50 miles on a single charge; so let’s say I get 37 miles on average. the charge capacity of my Volt is therefore the equivalent to about a gallon of gasoline. it takes 8-10 hours for me to recharge the battery; it would take seconds for me to pump a gallon of gasoline into the tank. are you starting to “get it” now? as to the Tesla Model S; if you used up all of the available charge, it would take a couple of days to recharge from a 120v outlet. recharging a battery is a slow process; so you don’t want to be foolish about energy usage when you are operating a vehicle from stored charge (yes, I know that there are Tesla supercharger stations, but they are not on every corner). that is why EVs are better for people who want to be careful about energy usage; if you want to hotdog with an EV, you won’t be able to hotdog for long before you have exhausted the stored charge. high performance use of EV is better suited for exotic cars; cars like that tend to not… Read more »

It’s a valid concept, which is the same as in the hybrid economy car case: Use electric assist and temporary energy storage (battery) to take the peaks (acceleration) and valleys (braking) out of the energy consumption/dissipation curve.

It’s even more useful for performance cars that have higher peaks (hard acceleration) and valleys (hard braking). The ICE can be smaller to cover only the average energy usage rather than over sized to cover the intermittent peak acceleration requirements.

The “performance hybrid” concept is also contributing to the overall Electrification Cause by converting the previously hardcore anti-EV/Hybrid performance types – Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear comes to mind: He was formerly an anti Leaf/Roadster/Prius zealot, but now gushes over the Porsche and McLaren hybrid performance cars.

The Electrification Cause is still a work in progress, so the more electrification the better! Don’t knock it!

I am not “knocking” EV’s; what I am knocking is attempts by people to turn EVs into something for which they are not so well suited: and that is energy-wasting, high-performance vehicles.

when I see all the craziness – youtube videos showing drag races with EVs – I am reminded of the Pontiac Fiero. The Pontiac Fiero was a 2-seat vehicle; the reason why it had only 2 seats was because it was intended to be a commuter vehicle. however, when many people saw 2 seats they thought “sports car”. the problem was that the Fiero was not designed to be a sports car, so what happened is that people tried to turn it into something that it wasn’t.

so when I see the same kind of thing going on with EVs, it is that behavior that I criticize, not the EVs themselves.

What I don’t understand are these gas sports cars w/little batteries in them (like the i8 and Porsche 918). What’s the point? Just to get a nice parking spot at an EV charger? To impress your environmentalist friends? It’s sort of like a “me-too” response, but it’s half-hearted/assed.

Elroy, our comments crossed. I don’t think people buying these cars care about efficiency or ‘saving at the pump’. I think it’s just bragging rights & green cred. If they want the EV acceleration, keep the same setup, forget the plug, and use the engine & braking to charge the battery. I think the Porsche actually does this, but they still left the plug on it.

What you say could be true. But it’s the end results that matter. Whether these people think green is of no importance.
In fact, it’s even better that all shades of people, not just green, will buy these. That in reality saves more gas, more energy. Equal less green house gases.

No problem making this an all out EV sports car; just dump the ICE, fuel tank, and exhaust, then fill the space with high density batteries. One thing; we still are inventin’ the high-density batteries.

And make the electric motor a little bigger.

PHEV – best of both worlds with more than double fuel economy
i8 design – spanking!
i8 price – ridiculous!
Look out for VW Twin Up – people’s car for 21st century
see: libralatodotcodotuk

Sure PHEV is the best, but not when the maker charges more than 40k to pull the electric rug out from under the luxury buyer, before he is even halfway done with his commute. Do BMW, and Porsche, somehow think these cars are all going to U.S. track junkies who are already complaining about automatic transmissions and, for the most part, avoiding electric drive with deep political incorrectness? Sure, they’d get the full kinetic benefit.

I see the tech of this car. I see the formulas of European racing. I just don’t see many folks buying it, because form follows function.

I own a Volt and love it. I’m planning to get a BMW i3 when it’s available. Anyone who drives an electric/hybrid everyday, KNOWS that a little more performance is a good thing. Merging on to the Pasadena Fwy….. Merging back into traffic from HOV lanes where people insist on speeding up when they see your blinkers and won’t let you merge……all situations where a little more performance to accelerate would be appreciated. Not everyone who appreciates these cars is a street racer