Wrecked BMW i8

APR 28 2015 BY STAFF 25

Recently, a BMW i8 in Crystal White Pearl was involved in a serious crash on the German Autobahn. The accident took place on A72 highway between Chemnitz and Stollberg, as another driver unexpectedly came from the right lane to overtake a third vehicle.

The driver of the BMW i8 could not brake in time and crashed into the rear of the Audi A3, which then spun in the opposite guardrail.

As clearly shown in our photos, the BMW i8 has considerable damage and it is likely to be totaled. The front of the car is more reminiscent of a debris field than a sports car, and the Gullwing doors show several battle scars from contact with the guardrail. Airbags were deployed as well.

*Editor’s Note: this post appears on BMWBLOG. Check it and additional images out here.

BMW i8 Unfall Autobahn Crash 2 750x655 BMW i8 in a serious crash

BMW i8 Crash

In the accident, one person was slightly injured in the back seat of the BMW i8; the driver and the occupants of the other vehicle were uninjured.


BMW i8 Crash

The BMW i8 has a complex security system, designed to make the aid after a crash as safe as possible. Just like the i3, all electric lines are switched off within seconds and the car unloads the complete high-voltage battery when the airbag sensor goes off.

[Source: Bimmertoday]

Categories: BMW, Crashed EVs

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25 Comments on "Wrecked BMW i8"

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“Likely” to be totaled?

Yeah, that has got to be in the running for the understatement of the week.

Can I have it? Probably the only i8 that could ever be within my grasp.

It would be fun to shoe-horn the drivetrain into an old M3 and have some fun….


It sure will… But what a disgraceful, degrading act to put on the i8’s powertrain!

*grinning also*

“…the car unloads the complete high-voltage battery when the airbag sensor goes off.”

What does “high voltage battery” mean in this context? is there a high voltage battery separate from the battery pack, perhaps one used for buffering between the motor and the pack?

Surely this does not refer to the main battery pack. There’s no way for an EV to automatically or quickly “unload” the energy stored there. The energy has to go somewhere, and preferably at not too great a speed, to avoid overheating and starting a fire.

This might have been refering to any capacitance that would hold a charge outside of the battery itself, like in the motor inverter and other high voltage components.

The battery is ejected into the air, James Bond style, then floats gracefully down into a nearby field with a parachute. πŸ™‚

Good question, I’m curious about this as well.

ROTFL! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Of course! I should have realized that.

I think somewhere along the way somebody used the wrong “Dis”.

Here is what BMW says about what happens in an accident:

“In the event of an accident, the high-voltage battery is automatically disconnected, thus ensuring no further unwanted energy can flow into the vehicle.”


I think that should be “Disconnect”, not “Discharge”. The original story is in Deutsch.

Or maybe BMW has come up with some new safety protocol? I could be wrong.

Thanks for clearing that up, Nix!

You are correct, the battery doesn’t discharge upon an accident, quite the opposite. The high voltage battery system is disconnected from the rest of the car, and I believe each battery module is also disconnected from each other to isolate them – if I recall correctly.

Carbon Fiber seems to disintegrate nicely in a crash…

There is no carbon fiber visible (except the roof) in those pictures. Although I dont’ have access to the car to inspect, it appears the accident didn’t impact the CFRP passenger cell at all. All the damage is to the aluminum frame and plastic body panels. The carbon fiber passenger cell appears untouched. See this link:

Scotty, eject the warp core!

That’s nice to know when the red matter ignites creating a black hole.

“as another driver unexpectedly came from the right lane to overtake a third vehicle.”

This is probably the most common type of multi-vehicle accident on the autobahn. So common that when you are driving there, you come to expect that any car approaching another car in front of them WILL pull into your lane. A bit of “expect the unexpected”.

Not to second guess the driver, but a bit more defensive driving _may_ have reduced the severity of this accident, regardless of fault.

Glad the i8 driver wasn’t injured, and lucky his rear passenger wasn’t injured more seriously, but very hard to feel much sympathy for this driver.

I don’t know about the law in Germany, but in the USA any rear end collision is pretty much always considered to be the fault of the driver who hit the rear of the other car. I don’t know whether that’s also the law in Germany, but it should be.

Based on my admittedly limited experience of driving in Germany, I would not be surprised if the police report indicated that the i8 driver was driving so far over the limit in the left lane that it pretty much guaranteed that any driver in the right lane who attempted to move into the left lane to pass would get seriously rear-ended. πŸ™

What limit? There are long stretches of the Autobahn, even today, that have no speed limits. This is why you have to be very vigilant and beware of the speed differential when you are driving fast on the Autobahn. In addition, whenever passing, you have to watch the rear view very carefully before pulling out to pass. Even when driving 100mph, it is possible to people to come up behind you very fast.

Gives “dead right” a new meaning. Fault could become irrelevant. I believe the driver hit from behind would be legally at fault, but sometimes that doesn’t matter.

I spent several years in Germany, and several laws in the US are not the same there. One of them is to be sure it is clear from behind you before turning left, even if you are sitting still with your blinker on, and another relates to pulling into a faster lane on the autobahn.

I’ve been on the autobahn traveling at ~ 95 mph and been passed like I was sitting still. American rules simply do not apply over there and by and large, they are far better drivers than the average American. Mistakes over there can be very costly though.

“they are far better drivers than the average American”

…thanks for that credit, but I’m not sure if that impression you got here might be slightly wrong.

Autobahn-bodycount in germany outnumbers quite a lot of other deadly things like terrorism or beeing thunderstruck by far more than you might know.

4 out of 5 male german drivers believe the are better drivers than the average πŸ˜‰
(Some knowledge about normal distribution might help them…)

And yes, there are german male car drivers who stick to that idea of beeing a “good” driver after having totalled 5 cars in 5 years.

Non-existence of speed-limits is a relict from the time when cars were simply not able to go faster than 200 km/h (sorry for the metric numbers πŸ˜‰ But german society and goverment is not as fast in adopting that knowledge into law. Maybe some more >300 km/h cars/bikes can help their brains to speed up a bit.

I thought many areas of the autobahn now had speed limits due to the many horrific, and mostly deadly accidents, that occur on it.

“…the BMW i8 could not brake in time and crashed into the rear of the Audi A3…”

I don’t know about your municipalities, but in mine, the i8 driver would also get a “Following too closely” (Tailgating) ticket.

See Mark C’s comment above; Germany really is a different and, frankly, better environment for driving fast with their much better engineered roads and licensing structure that is painful and expensive, but reduces the number of poor drivers on the road dramatically. The Audi that pulled out will likely wear as much of the accident blame for not ensuring he had the room and excess velocity to enter the passing lane in the first place.