Comparison: new BMW i8 vs Porsche 911

The BMW i8 is a technological wonder of a sports car so it was a good idea to compare it to the veteran Porsche 911. You may not be surprised by the verdict…

It is the most sophisticated car ever to wear a BMW badge. Next to it, the Porsche appears rather conventional. You wouldnt call it old-fashioned, even if the 50th Anniversary Edition example driven here plays up its heritage with some throwback stylistic elements, but its mechanical package is nowhere near as contemporary as the i8s.

The i8 features a lightweight carbonfibre-reinforced plastic body and is underpinned by a chassis made almost exclusively from aluminium. But unlike the boxy i3, the new i8 has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of both a conventional petrol engine and a pair of electric motors.

Getting into the i8 isn’t easy. It requires a good deal of gymnastic dexterity to fold yourself between the lower edge of the scissor door and the substantial slab of carbonfibre sill. The 911, on the other hand, is a cinch to enter. Its conventional doors, relatively narrow sill and generous door openings are part of its enduring everyday appeal.

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Andrew Kirkley
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  • 3rd June 2014

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