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by Adam Lynton
BMW is tantalizingly close to completing its high-performance halo car.
When the i8 is introduced next year, BMW will at last have a proper sportscar to crown its lineup, and from these latest images of a prototype undergoing winter testing it appears that development of the halo car is reaching the final stages. For the first time, BMW's trademark Hoffmeister kink can be seen on the rear side windows, and the side skirts now appear to match those found on the i8 Concept. By dropping more camouflage, other changes have also become apparent, including newly-positioned door handles hidden within the B-pillar.
It also boasts sportier-looking side mirrors, while BMW has opened up more of the front fascia affording us a better view of the kidney grille and headlights. To recap, the i8 has a plug-in hybrid powertrain: a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine sends 223 horsepower to the rear wheels and an electric motor provides the front wheels with 170 hp. Combined, the i8 will pack 393 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque to deliver the performance of an M3 with 80 mpg fuel economy. The i8 is projected to sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.