Video: BMW i8 Carbon Fiber


Ever wonder why carbon fiber was chosen for use throughout the BMW i8?

i8 Carbon Fiber

i8 Carbon Fiber

Perhaps you’re questioning whether or not it was a wise decision on BMW’s behalf to make use if an expensive and difficult of manufacture textile in the i8.

The answers to most of your carbon fiber/BMW i8 related questions are found in this video in which BMW explains the i8’s carbon fiber construction in rather simplistic terms.

For example, did you know that the weight of the i8’s battery is basically offset by the automaker’s use of carbon fiber?

This video in the latest in an ongoing series of i8 video where BMW dumbs down the development/design/manufacturing of the plug-in hybrid so that all can understand what’s in play.

We rather enjoy this series put forth by BMW, as it makes it simple for those who don’t understand the complexities to at least get a grasp of what BMW is doing with its i8.

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7 Comments on "Video: BMW i8 Carbon Fiber"

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Still ended at 1500kg. Moronic.
5-seater VW Golf VII weighs 1050kg. All steel.
Audi A2 weighed 900kg. All alu.

Moronic is comparing a two seater and five seater in trying to evaluate what a car should weigh. A high tech two seater new Corvette weighs more than a 5 seater Mini Cooper….so what? Obviously there are reasons for the weight composition in a performance car .

VW Golf VII weighs 1,205 kg (2,660 lb)[1] – 1,395 kg (3,080 lb)

And just to add to what the other two guys already pointed out as being moronic, you’re comparing apples to oranges when you compare across luxury and segment lines, not to mention vehicle type.

The A2 is sized in the B-segment while the i3 is C-segment sized.
Despite your weights being off for the Golf 7, it is not a luxury vehicle. Luxury vehicles always weigh significantly more than their non-luxury counterparts due to added dampening and comfort features.

Example, compare an Audi A3 to a VW Golf, Audi Q3 to VW Tiguan, Lexus GS to Toyota Avalon, Acura RDX to Honda CRV, etc etc.. The luxury version is always heavier by ~500+ lbs.

Looking at the i3 and comparing it’s 2600lb weight with the Leaf at 3300 lbs there seems to be quite a bit of weight savings in carbon fiber. The Focus Electric at 3600 lbs that was not initially designed to be an EV, carries over 1,000 weight than the i3. But I do remember reading about how weight on an EV is not necessarily a bad thing, as it helps maintain forward momentum and increase break regeneration when coasting and stopping, where aerodynamics is #1 with EVs. Which may be why the lighter weight i3 with the 22kWh battery has the same 80 to 100(max charge) mile range as the 23kWh battery pack of the Focus Electric or the 24kWh battery pack of the Leaf. Which puts the cost benefit of using expensive carbon fiber at a zero benefit in an EV. This would be the same for an actual EV with a range extender like the i3 Rex. But the math changes when the engine has to turn the wheels like on a plug-in hybrid like the i8, Volt, Fusion/C-MAX Energi, since the weight of the batteries/motor add to the burden on the engine in hybrid mode, reducing ‘fuel’… Read more »

You over simplified the comparison. The i3 also has a higher output motor than the other EVs you mentioned. Additionally, the i3 actually only uses 18 kWh of the battery capacity to extend battery lifetime.

So in effect, the i3 has less available energy while still providing greater output capacities, both in motor power and overall speed.

This is only possible from the lightweight CFRP. Thus there is a benefit.

BEV’s…. weight… a major factor in everyone of them. Whenever a auto manufacturer takes on the challenge to ‘change’ the conventional wisdom, I think it is notable. This is a big deal!