Gizmag has been following the development of BMW’s forward looking i8 for years. Now the fruits of that development labor have been revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show with BMW finally de-cloaking the production version of the sporty plug-in hybrid.

The i8 is the second car launched under the company's "i" sub-brand, which grew from the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept exercise.

After several revisions and updates, the i8’s still makes an impressive visual statement, especially for a hybrid. The body is less futuristic than the glassy concept versions, but has retained key BMW genetics. On profile the car very much sports 6-series influences, with the exception of longer overhangs front and rear, and those floating roof wings.

Design aspects aside, the i8’s mandate is that of a performance hybrid, much in the same vein as Porsche’s 918 but at far lower price point.

Sporting a 1.5 liter turbocharged engine of only three cylinders, the i8 is capable of taking down serious performance machines thanks to the addition of an electric motor delivering 131 hp and 184 lb.ft of torque to the front wheels. All in all the i8 develops 362 hp and 420 lb.ft of torque, which translates into the best of both worlds – 113 mpg (2.5 liter/100 km) mileage figures coupled with a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 4.4 seconds.

The i8 retains its original five drive modes and BMW still reports a range of 310 miles (500 km) in Comfort Mode. The i8 will be available in four exterior paint finishes and four interior options.

The price for the i8 is will reportedly be US$135,700 when it hits US shores in the spring of 2014.

Check Gizmag’s gallery for our first up close look at the production i8.

View gallery - 21 images