Ever since the i8 was released I have always fancied a go in one. Sorry, I mean the opportunity to review one.
Not really a supercar but it is BMW’s sports car. The Roadster, losing the rear two seats and roof of its stablemate coupe looks the part. With its stunning lines and styling this hybrid electric car really catches the eye. In fact, I love the styling of these, and the profile is something to die for, I just love the shape.
Granted the electric range is only about 30 miles but it’ll return around 30MPG in real terms from the mix of electric front and petrol rear drive which isn’t bad in a car that’ll turn so many heads.
The carbon fibre cockpit is a comfortable place to be though with the roof closed, a little short on headroom. If you’re a 20 stone body builder as Rich is, you can fit. Just. With effort! But once in, it’s a comfortable place. I’m not sure it’s great for a grand tour type drive but I’d give it a shot.
But, what I’m sure you’re all asking is, “how does it drive?” And if you’re not asking that, then you should be.
Firstly, once you’ve climbed into the cockpit and got comfortable, you lean over and pull the dihedral door closed. Like all BMWs, this closes with the reassuring clunk. But it leaves you wondering how good the struts that hold it open will be when the car is 15 years old!
As with all hybrids, you don’t start it, you just press the button and go. With the classic BMW seat belt warning beeping as you forget your belt (soon rectified), you head off for the highway.
Under electric it pulls along nicely and when you need that extra power, pushing the fun pedal all the way down fires up the 1.5 litre, 3 cylinder petrol engine that has remained silent til needed. Now, with the full 374hp/PS and a neck pulling 570NM of torque engaging, the i8 powers through to 62 in around 4.6 seconds and will reach a reported top speed of 155mph. This car has the performance to match the style. Yes, there are many quicker cars out there, even the M5 is a second faster to 62, but that’s not really why you buy this car. If you want a super quick electric car, you’ll buy a Tesla. If you want an all powerful convertible, you’ll probably get the Mercedes AMG GT Roadster or something similar. No, you are buying this car because it’s F-U-N fun! And it’s great fun.
It drives beautifully, I didn’t have a chance to really put it through its paces but for the time I had the pleasure, it was just that.
Granted, it isn’t cheap. The tested model somewhere in the region of £125k but then, it’s aimed at a specific market and if that’s your market you could do a lot worse for that sum than this.
I hope to have the opportunity to use one for a longer period than a Flash Drive in the near future and enjoy its pure madness. So really, whilst it may not be a supercar, it is in reality a super car.