BMW's 'green' supercar to cost $300K

BMW is betting that green car enthusiasts are willing to spend big money on Australia's first hybrid supercar.

The German manufacturer has pegged pricing for the new BMW i8 at $299,000 plus on-road and dealer costs, making it the most expensive hybrid on sale.

BMW’s latest coupe costs nearly twice as much as its $156,900 M3 performance car, and is second only in price to the brand’s V12-powered 760Li flagship.

Costing more than three entry-level X5 SUVs, the i8 will give customers the ability to swap their coupe for something more sensible for up to 12 days a year.

BMW spokesman Scott Croaker says customers will have to pay more for the “flexible mobility” rental service, but could not say how much it will cost.

As the brand’s new halo model, and the face for its push for efficiency, the i8 is like no other car on sale.

It has a carbon chassis similar to that used by the Lamborghini Aventador or McLaren 650S, though it has been designed with efficiency in mind as opposed to speed.

Powered by a sophisticated plug-in hybrid drivetrain, the i8 blends a 170kW three-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a 96kW electric motor that combine to offer 266kW of power and fuel efficiency of just over 2.1L/100km.

The petrol engine - which is closely related to the unit in the new Mini Cooper - drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor operates on the front axle and helps the car reach 100km/h in 4.4 seconds.

The i8 can reach a top speed of 120km/h on electric power alone, and can cruise for 37 kilometres on battery power, or 600 kilometres using petrol and electric energy. The car's lithium-ion battery can be charged through household power points 

Just six dealers across Australia will offer the car. BMW will sell the i8 in most capital cities, though the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania miss out.

BMW i8 pricing and specifications

Price: From $299,000 plus on-road costs

On sale: March 2015

Engine: 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol and electric motor

Power: 170kW (petrol), 96kW (electric) and 266kW (combined)

Torque: 320Nm (petrol) and 250Nm (electric)

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 4WD

Economy: Approximately 2.1L/100km and 49g/km CO2 (Europe)