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Auto blogTue, 10 Sep 2013
It may be early in the morning here in the US, but in Germany, the first day of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is in full swing. BMW took advantage of the early start and showed off its long-awaited i8 plug-in hybrid sportscar, a two-plus-two, swan-wing-doored coupe, to the Frankfurt crowd.
We drove a BMW i8 prototype back in August, so many of the things we're reading today are clarifications on our initial suspicions or speculations. Underhood sits a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine. On its own, it churns out a respectable 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, which is then channeled to the rear wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. An electric motor, meanwhile, sends 131 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque through a two-speed automatic to the front wheels.
With all-wheel drive at its disposal, the total system power sits at 362 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, and allows the i8 to scamper to 62 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds. That excellent performance is offset by an estimated fuel economy figure of 94 miles per gallon, though, making this a fast and efficient vehicle. Charging is impressively fast on the i8, with a full charge coming from a 110-volt outlet in under four hours. A BMW Charging Station will trim the charge time down to 1.5 hours.
BMW isn't the only one celebrating its own 90th anniversary building motorbikes. So is Atelier Ruby, that French manufacturer of jewel-like motorcycle helmets.
Ruby has just released a capsule collection of helmets marking BMW Motorrad's 90th anniversary, and we want them almost as much as a Bimmer bike itself. The Munich 90 collection includes three new designs available in three helmet styles, including the signature blue and red stripes on a white background worn by BMWs of two wheels or four on the racing circuit.
Of course, these helmets, being made by Ruby as they are, won't come cheap, with jaw-dropping prices ranging from $980 to $1,450. Of course there are more cost-effective ways to protect your noggin, but few more stylish.
Getting Our Butts In The Seats
Both the non-M BMW 3 Series sedan and 4 Series coupe have so far brought much pleasure to us at Autoblog. The terrific four-cylinder 328i trim has become our favorite of the 3 Series line, while we have yet to get a chance at the 428i coupe. That said, the 35i trim powered by a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine is not exactly to be sniffed at.
We all know the ones you're really waiting for, though. The F80 fifth-generation M3 sedan and the supremely sexy F82 M4 coupe. Rumors have been buzzing for a couple of years now that the engine would be another V8, only turbocharged this time, or else a tri-turbo six. Well, today BMW confirmed that the mill under the hood's power bulge is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo of the biturbo variety, referred to internally as "S55B30 variant."