The four-seat car has front-hinged front doors and rear-hinged "coach doors." The upper-body is made of carbon fiber and the drivetrain module that holds the battery package, electronics and motor is made of light-weight aluminum.
The i3 Concept is a zero-emissions vehicle and has a range of 130-160km (80-100 miles) on a full charge. BMW said the car has been developed for use in an urban environment.
"This vehicle will mark the launch of the first volume-produced car featuring body work largely made of carbon," said Klaus Draeger, BMW AG board member for development. "It's a revolution in automotive design."
The car weighs 1,250kg (2,756 pounds) and has a 2570mm (101.2 inch) wheelbase.
BMW i8 Concept
The i8 Concept plug-in hybrid uses a modified electric drive system from the i3 Concept that is fitted over the front axle as well as a three-cylinder combustion engine with 220 hp. The packaging gives the car an optimal 50/50 weight distribution.
BMW said the i8 Concept coupe can run alone for 35km (20 miles) on the electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. The electric-only mode would allow the car to be driven in cities that restrict use of gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles.
The i8 is a two-plus-two and can seat four people who sit "in typical sports car style in an extremely low and enclosed position…" BMW said. The doors swivel upward giving access to both the front and rear seats.
The i8 also uses carbon fiber for the body and aluminum for the understructure.
The hybrid sports car has a governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under five seconds. Its fuel consumption in the European cycle of under three liters per 100 kilometres (94 UK mpg)
Both cars will be built at BMW's Leipzig plant in Germany. BMW said it will spend $573.4 million for new facilities to assemble the cars and create 800 new jobs.