High Voltage: the All New 2015 BMW i8 Review
The new BMW i8 is something altogether new for the German brand; a plug-in hybrid that claims to be the future of the sports car, it comes with BMW’s first ever 1.5-litre three cylinder engine.
Claiming a car to be ‘the car of the future’ is a pretty bold statement. For a car to be a car of the future, it has to be state-of-the-art at the very least. It has to redefine a segment, as opposed to take things from it. It has to offer something wholly different, think outside the box, break new ground. The new BMW i8 does all these things. It’s taken a few years to refine, swapping a diesel unit for a petrol along the way, as well as ditching two electric motors in favour for a plug-in hybrid concept, but it looks like BMW have finally got there. Let’s take a look at what the BMW i8 offers.
The new BMW i8 is a sports car, but how does a sports car manage to extract raw power and pace whilst relying on a three-cylinder petrol unit and a bit of electricity? It sounds mighty incredible, but the new BMW i8 manages – in fact, it surpasses all expectations. This is sports car excellence.
If you buy your sports cars for their acceleration, get this – the BMW i8 accelerates quicker than a Porsche 911. Even on purely electric power it can propel its small frame to 60mph from rest in 4.5 seconds en route to top speed of 155mph. Far costlier cars might be able to go a little quicker, but there’s the rub – they’re far costlier.
Another positive of the new BMW i8 is its inherent flexibility that helps it to stand out as a grand tourer. Moreover, coming with a very tight structure, you’ll hear road roar as you rocket along the track, whilst Sport mode offers glorious engine noise that racier enthusiasts will undoubtedly welcome. The chassis aids plummeting down a straight line in particular, though offers a little less confidence when approaching tight corners. Get the new BMW i8 on the expansive, open road and she’ll show you what she can do.
Inside, A Thing of Beauty
One thing BMW has become renowned for over the years is the quality of their interiors, and the new BMW i8 benefits from some superb, beautiful interior design too. Well finished, with splashes of blue prominent, it feels exactly like a BMW. Driving position is spot-on for a sports car, whilst the passenger will feel equally at home next to you. Comfy, secure and spoiled by the high quality finishing. The new BMW i8 also benefits from two rear seats that, despite a distinct lack of space, can at least accommodate children if not tall adults. Still, your kids will thrive back there. Outside, the car benefits from brand new full-LED headlights, whilst optional are headlamps that possess a laser light concept that has been described as revolutionary.
Facts and Figures
The new BMW i8 price range starts at £94,000, whilst additional options will see that figure rise somewhat. The new BMW i8 is exempt from road tax, whilst qualifying for 5% benefit-in-kind tax owing to its excellent CO2 figures – just 49g/km. Indeed, a plug-in hybrid universal appeal can often come down to the low running costs, and the new BMW i8 manages fuel consumption figures of 134.5mpg. Moreover, electric range is 37km.
The new BMW i8 may be small, it may be part electric, and it may be quicker than a Porsche 911. If anything, all this just makes it the most intriguing car on the market today. Not only is it exquisitely furnished, both inside and out, but it’s also super dynamic and super quick. A luxury electric speedster? Perhaps.