The bodywork is crucial
At the new project, the selection of the vehicle was one of the most important and difficult topics. After all, it was the bodywork of the BMW 320 IRL, which had the largest share of the required vehicle change. Many parameters such as safety, aerodynamics, weight, drive options, vehicle size and, last but not least, a certain affinity for BMW influenced the decision.
Comparisons to the BMW 320 IRL were drawn to calculate the theoretical performance and finally to get rid of the known weak points of the E30 body of the BMW 320 IRL. From the very beginning, aerodynamics had top priority and should therefore go into the decision-making process.
The importance of aerodynamics was actually explained many years ago by simulation results with the basic data of the BMW 320 IRL and the aero data of modern vehicles. They showed a notable downforce increase on the front axle and in connection with the much better air resistance, the theoretical running time could be reduced by up to 3.2%.
Of course there were also parameters whose values with a new vehicle can not be reached so easily. One example of this is the weight of the body. The body of the BMW 320 IRL weighs just under 200 kg, and in modern vehicles this figure is almost always far higher.
After all the many researches, calculations and deliberations, only a few of the many vehicles from several manufacturers came into question, and finally the choice fell on the BMW i8.