What is it?The 2014 BMW i8 is the epitome of a supercar but underneath the sleek and seductive silhouette is a hybrid system that is so economical it makes your lawnmower look thirsty.
Who is it aimed at? This is a super car for the eco conscious.
Styling?The broad BMW kidney grille stretches over to the slim headlights, making it instantly recognisable as a BMW, but all similarity ends there. Stunning, low and wide the i8 looks like something from another dimension. The proportions are perfect, the angles exaggerated and the green credentials astounding.
Under the Bonnet?There is an electric motor powering the front wheels and a tiny turbocharged petrol engine in the back powering the rear wheels so what you end up with is an all wheel drive system. There is also a third source of power in the form of an small electric motor that acts as a generator.
What about inside? Inside it is the most modern interpretation of a BMW interior but it still very familiar BMW territory. And while the doors only enhance the futuristic look they do make it impossible to slip gracefully in and out the of the ‘very’ low-slung i8.
With a sculptured dash, the details and materials used throughout are exquisite it comes so fully loaded with equipment there are few, if any, options omitted. That said there is no storage space, the rear seats are virtually redundant and weight saving means there is little adjustment to the deep bucket seats.
On the Road?The i8 feels remarkably normal on the road, it is balanced and poised and if you weren’t aware of the very clever technology that seamlessly merges all these system you would be forgiven for thinking this was a regular sportscar. But there is a quality to the i8 that is unlike nothing else on the road and it is an incredibly impressive car.
There’s loads of power but, more significantly there’s ample torque and it is delivered without a hint of a lag. The engine note is pitch perfect: throaty, deep and reverberating. It is artificially generated and more of a sports car soundtrack but it sounds so good you won’t care.
And Safety? BMW’s i8 incorporates the very latest safety and accident research and requirements of international crash test procedures and given the strength of its structure the BMW i8 should be excellent and we would expect when the EuroNCAP publish the results of crashtests on the i8 safety that it will achieve full marks.
Will it break the bank? At £99,895 the i8 is not cheap.
Economy?The official fuel consumption figures are 135 miles to the gallon or 2.1 litres per 100 km or with carbon emissions of just 49g/km.
Verdict? The i8 is clearly not for everyone, the price is eye watering, the seats in the back are tiny and the boot is ridiculously small plus those doors need such a space to open in that they are actually the most impractical thing about it. But this is not what the i8 is about, it is a futuristic car packed cutting edge technology that is destined to be the gene-pool from which all future cars draw inspiration from, At a time when everyone seems to be clamouring for lower emissions and more efficiency BMW’s i division have delivered a car that is living proof that there is still a sustainable and fun to drive future for the sports car.
Why you’ll buy one? Stunning looks; cutting edge technology; driving dynamics
Why you won’t? Price
Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)
Engine: 1499cc Hybrid, 362bhp ,570 Nm
Top speed: 155mph
0-62: 4.4 seconds
Emissions : 49g/km
Model price:From £99,895
No of Doors: 2 doors
Euro NCAP : Not tested
Fuel type: Petrol/electric
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 2.1/100km or 135mpg
Wheelbase: 2800 mm
17th December, 2014