BMW i8 A peek into the future of supercars EPA ECON CITY/HWY: 76 MPG-E 0-60 MPH: 3.8 SEC BASE PRICE $137,500* BODY ...
BMW i8 A peek into the future of supercars
0-60 MPH: 3.8 SEC

BASE PRICE $137,500* BODY TYPE Coupe
The BMW i8 is a window into the future of our craft, the next step along the road for people who love driving. One of our Automobile All-Stars for 2015, the BMW i8 is a sultry mid-engine hybrid with a supercar silhouette. It can drive along silently in full-electric mode or rip around a road course at full tilt with all the pieces of its hybrid powertrain working together. The i8 drives well, looks great, and delivers on its promises of sportiness and efficiency.

Base Engine
1.5L turbo I-3 + electric, 357 hp
Opt Engine None
Drivetrain Mid-engine, RWD
Transmission 6A
Basic Warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
IntelliChoice 5-Yr Retained Value 45%
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Long-term test 2017-BMW-i8 The same but different

    CAR: #2017-BMW-i8 / #BMW-i8 / #2017 / #BMW / #BMW-i3


    Love or loathe’em, hybrids are here to stay – although it’s more than 20 years since the Toyota Prius was launched and you do have to wonder whether the public would have embraced hybrids sooner if they’d looked more like spaceships and less like painted vegetables.

    Fact is, as I was always banging on about when I ran my first-generation Honda Insight (now sold; see), hybrids can be a lot of fun to drive. We’ve been running an i3 on the mag for a few months now, and all of us have relished the intellectual challenge of using its regenerative charging system to the max – and, less intellectually, the childish thrill of swooshing past other drivers by surfing the i3’s remarkable wave of torque.

    Interesting car though it is, the i3 has its limitations. It’s intended to be a city car but several of us live a considerable distance from the office, which means that a one-way drive will exhaust a full electrical charge – and the tiny range-extending petrol engine only gives you another 70 miles. Charging the car at home from a domestic supply can take up to 15 hours, and if you live in a flat, like me, you’re stuffed.

    Which is why we were keen to try the i3’s bigger brother, the i8. It’s a completely different kind of car: a GT with supercar performance that promises supermini economy. Yes, it’s a petrol-electric hybrid, but you can choose to run the i8 on petrol all the time (unlike the i3), using its turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine – nicked from the entry-level Mini, can you believe – with added oomph supplied by the electric motor. A 1.5-litre triple may not sound exciting, but 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds tells a different story.

    Talking of exciting sounds, the i8 is a bit of a fibber in that its sporty exhaust note (which sounded a bit racing #V8-like , to these ears) is artificial and piped into the cabin. Shame! But that doesn’t detract too much. The #BMW-i8 is not just blisteringly fast, it feels genuinely special, and at night its cabin is streaked with blue-LED curves in a very spaceship manner.

    The one feature about the i8 guaranteed to divide opinion is the gullwing doors. They look super-cool but, leave the car in a typical British car park, come back to find someone has parked either side of you, and you may not be able to open them wide enough to get in. You have to be pretty athletic to climb in and out of the lowslung seats with any decorum, too – which rules out much of the #Drive-My team.

    For that reason, my colleague Glen said that he’d rather spend his hypothetical 100 grand on a 911. I take his point but I’d still have an i8. After all, who doesn’t want to pilot a spaceship?
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  •   Ollie Marriage reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    i, BMW

    It looks like a spaceship but is the i8 really the future of motoring? We take one for a test flight.

    We might not have flying cars yet, but the #BMW-i8 is about as close to piloting a spaceship as you’re going to get. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: BMW.

    The i8 might not seem like a #Drive-My sort of car, but considering we’re already starting to see lowered examples on fancy wheels, I wouldn’t be surprised if we feature an i8 before the year is up and secondly it’s about as futuristic a car as you can imagine. Even if you don’t like it, as a #BMW fan you really should be able to at least admire and respect BMW for making it in the first place. So, what do you need to know? Well, it’s a lightweight, carbon fibre-bodied plug-in hybrid, with a 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol engine delivering 231hp and 236lb ft to the rear wheels via a six-speed auto ’box and an electric motor producing 131hp and 184lb ft to the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission. Turn them both on together and you’ve got 362hp, 420lb ft and four-wheel drive combining to give a 0-62 time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.

    Take things easy and BMW claims a combined figure of 134.5mpg (good luck with that) and a CO² figure of 49g/km, which is impressive; as for that fuel economy figure, yes 134mpg isn’t likely to happen, but on a cruise over 60mpg is achievable which, taking into account the performance is also very impressive.

    You’ll either love or hate the looks but regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, you can’t deny it’s a spectacular thing. It looks like a spaceship and there’s literally nothing else out on the road like it – if you like attention, you will love driving the i8. And driving it is quite an experience – the doors go up, which immediately makes you very excited about getting in and BMW has made the interior feel familiar, yet futuristic at the same time. It’s a surprisingly large car, quite long and wide for a 2+2 with hardly any rear seat space or room for luggage, bit visibility is good all-round and it doesn’t feel big to drive.

    In all-electric mode it’s brisk, but not fast, the electric motor delivering maximum torque at 0rpm, which means the i8 steps off the line sharply though the acceleration drops off quickly. It’s perfect around town or in traffic though. The petrol engine will cut in when you want to go fast or you can stick the car in Sport mode, and then the dials glow red, you get a rev counter, lots of engine noise piped into the cabin and both motors at your beck and call. It sounds fantastic, regardless how real the soundtrack may or may not be, and it feels fast; with 4WD you can put all the power down with ease and the acceleration is impressive and relentless. Driving the BMW i8 quickly is addictive and worryingly easy – you really need to keep an eye on the speedo to keep hold of your licence. It’s good to drive, too – it can feel skittish at speed on rough surfaces thanks to those 20s, but the handling is sharp and the brakes are strong, making the i8 an impressive all-round performer.

    If you want an i8, the first hurdle you’ll have to overcome is the price, because it costs £104,590. Ouch. The second hurdle you have to deal with is waiting for one – all of 2015’s production run is sold out so if you slapped 100 large down on a salesperson’s desk in a BMW dealership today, you’d be handed your suitably futuristic key sometime in 2016. I wager 99% of you won’t be rushing out to buy an i8, but it’s a special car and BMW deserves respect for making it.

    DATA FILE #2016 #BMW-i8 / #BMW-i8-I12 / #BMW-I12 /
    ENGINE: 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, hybrid synchronous electric motor
    TRANSMISSION: Six-speed automatic (petrol), two-stage automatic (electric)
    WEIGHT (EU): 1560kg
    MAX POWER: 362hp (combined)
    MAX TORQUE: 420lb ft (combined)
    0-62MPH: 4.4 secs
    TOP SPEED: 155mph (limited)
    EMISSIONS (CO²): 49g/km
    FUEL ECONOMY (MPG): 134.5mpg
    PRICE (OTR): £104,590
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