The BMW i8 concept car has a glowing blue grille that opens and closes, depending on how much cooling the engine requires. The car makes some dramatic entrances and escapes in the recent movie, "Mission Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." The opening-and-closing grille might survive, but don't expect the giant virtual touchscreen in the movie version to make it into production.
BMW expects production to start in early 2014. The BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid, which plugs in to be recharged instead of using the gasoline engine exclusively to recharge the battery like most other hybrids. The BMW i8 also saves fuel by using a three-cylinder engine. Most other hybrids have four-cylinder engines.
Nearly all other gasoline-electric hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius get their power from the onboard gasoline engine, which drives the car and recharges the battery. Household current is much cheaper than gasoline-powered electricity generation, especially at off-peak electricity rates. According to Rocky Mountain Power, an electric utility based in Salt Lake City, it can cost less than $1 to recharge a plug-in hybrid car at off-peak hours.
BMW estimates that the BMW i8 gets more than 78 miles per gallon, with performance worthy of a sports car. It goes from zero to 62 mph (or 100 kilometers per hour) in under five seconds.