German auto major BMW on Wednesday brought to Indian soil what it sees as the vision for future: the i8 concept supercar.
It also launched the all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo at Rs. 42.75 lakh, apart from unveiling the refreshed versions of X5 and BMW M6 Gran Coup at the 12th Auto Expo 2014 in Greater Noida.
The cars from the BMW stable were unveiled by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
"Locally-produced at BMW plant in Chennai, the all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will be available at dealerships across the country from March 2014," BMW Group India president Philipp von Sahr said, adding that it will be available in a diesel variant.
The Gran Turismo is a completely new vehicle concept in its class that combines coup elegance with spaciousness, he said.
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Speaking about its hybrid car i8, he said it will come as a completely built-up (CBU) unit to India by the end of 2014.
Apart from the space-age looks that features a stretched-out bonnet with an elaborate arrangement of curving panel, a pronounced grille accentuated by LED lighting and the gull wing-like doors, the i8 packs quite a marvel under the hood with powerful electric and petrol engines.
The company claims the 131bhp electric motor can last 35km on the batteries, which can be charged by the petrol motor, regenerative braking or an external electric source. The engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 1.5litre petrol mill is equipped with a twin-turbo, which has a remarkably high specific output as it produces a peak power of 231bhp with 320Nm of torque.
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According to BMW, it can sprint to a speed of 100k/hr in 4.5 seconds flat. And yet, if driven sanely, it can return a mileage of 40 kilometres to the litre with the electric motor holding sway.
The i8, which is still under development, is likely to be one of the main crowd-pullers at the 12th Auto Expo when it opens to public on Friday.
The German auto major had launched the i8 as a concept car in 2011 and the supercar made an appearance in Hollywood movie 'Mission Impossible 4'.
BMW expects to roll out the first i8’s in the US later this year. When it does come to Indian shores, it may have a price tag of around Rs. 1 crore, if the US price of $135,000 is any indicator.
(With PTI inputs)
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Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar poses with the BMW i8 Hybrid car at the Auto Expo 2014 in Greater Noida. (PTI Photo)
Sachin poses with the newly launched BMW i8 at the Auto Expo. (AFP Photo)
BMW's i8 hybrid car during its launch at the Auto Expo. (Reuters Photo)