It’s been a while since we’ve featured any posts on the BMW i-series, but for those of you eagerly awaiting the advent of Bavaria’s green lineup, we have some good news to tide you over.
Well, really we have some good noise:
That is a video of the i8 accelerating in sport mode. To us, it sounds less like a three-cylinder plug-in hybrid and more like if the Tron light-bikes were adapted into a sport coupe. There’s a distinctly electric tone to the roar of the engine as it revs up, like a tornado that’s been struck by a lightning bolt.
We share this with you via Bimmerpost, which reports the even better news that the above sound was recorded in a pre-production vehicle without the presence of BMW’s Active Sound Design. If you don’t know what ASD is, it’s a recent feature in several M-series cars that pipes the engine sound in through the vehicle’s speakers. The level of noise insulation in a BMW is so perfect, without artificial amplification, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the melodious din of the car’s power plant.
The i8 that goes on sale this summer will make use of ASD technology, but before you scoff, let us clarify: No artificial noise is produced. There’s no pre-recorded track that plays through your sound system. What you’ll hear is the actual engine noise as you hear it in the video, just funneled through the speakers.
Bimmerpost also reveals that as a first, the i8 will utilize ASD on the outside. The i8 appears to have twin exhaust tips, but only one of them is actually for exhaust. The other conceals an outside speaker. Now what could possibly be the point of that, you might ask? Safety, of course. Electric and Hybrid vehicles as a whole are so quiet that governments have actually passed regulations requiring them to be louder. For this reason, the i8 will also feature a forward mounted Pedestrian Protection System that broadcasts what’s been described as a howling noise. These measures mostly benefit the blind, but as a rule, you should never underestimate the obliviousness of a pedestrian. They should teach you that in driver’s ed.
You can read more about the i8’s sound culture on the Bimmerpost forum, but what about the rest of the i-series? Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management for the BMW auto group was recently quoted as saying the manufacturer would be producing 100,000 electric vehicles a year by 2020, and the i8 is technically not a pure EV, so at this stage it doesn’t count toward those numbers.
We can’t say anything yet, but if you are interested in the BMW i3 – and a lot of people are – you might want to pay attention to our blog in the next couple of days. Leith BMW has something exciting planned for later in the month, and you won’t want to miss out.
Until then, let’s play that video a dozen or so more times.