First drive of the BMW i8
We’ve already seen the BMW i3 but now it’s time for the spectacular BMW i8. The new sports hybrid vehicle is finally here. Many car experts have been given the chance the drive it and have given some glowing reviews.
It has certainly been a long time coming. The concept car was first shown in Frankfurt 2009, leaving everyone drooling wanting the car to be put straight into production.
The car runs a powerful 1.5 litre turbo three cylinder engine. Sounding deceivingly small, the engine is in fact very powerful. 231 BHP is produced when driving the rear wheels alone. The front wheels produce 131 BHP through the electric motor. The plug-in battery is durable enough to power the front wheels for 15 miles running on pure electricity only. That takes just two hours charge.
This particular piece of technology regarding the battery and motor are taken from the i3. They do however produce different outputs. Once the electricity runs out, the petrol engine kicks in. When driving on electric power only and you need more power, the petrol engine will again begin to work. This makes the i8 a 4WD hybrid.
The 0 – 62 MPH time is 4.4 seconds, a very respectable time indeed. Sport mode develops brake regeneration technology to its maximum. The adaptive dampers and power steering settings are adapted to the highest settings too.
Pushing the gear selector to the left turns the dials to red allowing the vehicle to really come to life. The powertrain and throttle are both highly responsive, giving the driver a fantastic driving experience. The i8 could be a rival to the R8 or even the Porsche 911.
The exterior is made of carbon fibre, exactly the same material as the i3. Exterior panels are made of thermoplastic, looking fantastic and very futuristic. The subframes are made from aluminium. The roof is made out of carbon fibre offcuts. The glass in the doors and rear is essentially 50% less weight than the typical materials used to develop such a part.
The BMW i8 won’t be cheap. It will set you back a staggering £99,845. Based on reviews so far, we believe that it’s worth it.