What’s the BMW i8 like to drive in the real-world

BMW i, Interesting | April 18th, 2017 by 2
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We often judge cars by how they perform in very specific, controlled circumstances. Whether it be on a track or during some spirited drives through …

We often judge cars by how they perform in very specific, controlled circumstances. Whether it be on a track or during some spirited drives through roads pre-selected by car companies, cars are quite often tested during select conditions. Or, we only get to test drive cars for such a short period of time that we can’t fully gauge its usefulness during everyday life. Because of that, it can be difficult to judge how certain cars can be in the real world, especially strange cars like the BMW i8. So Car Magazine recently gave some real-world updates on their long-term i8 to give a good idea of some of the quirks and oddities that will occur in real life.

For starters, the funky dihedral doors are actually more practical than they seem. Being that they open up, rather than out, they actually require less space between the i8 and the car next to it to open fully. However, once an object gets too close, even by a centimeter, it’s hopeless to get in and out. On a standard door that opens outward, one can squeeze through a smaller gap if the door can’t fully open. Not so in the i8.

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BMW’s clever battery management also makes the i8 one of the more practical hybrids on the road. The idea that the i8 can hold a specific amount of battery charge can be useful, as well as the fact that Sport mode keeps the engine always running which actually recharges the battery on its own.

With the BMW Remote App, or even through the car’s menu, you can preset the BMW i8 to set cabin temperature at a specific time. So if you know it’s gonna be cold the next morning, you can pre-set the cabin temperature and heated seats to your liking so when you get in the car for work, it’s already nice and toasty. While the i8 isn’t the only car that has such capability, if you live in a harsh weather climate, you know how wonderful that can be.

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One oddity about the i8 is that, in Sport Mode, it won’t shift up into sixth gear, its tallest. Even on the highway, it shies away from sixth, I’m assuming to be as sporty as possible. So if you want sixth gear, you have to manually shift up using the paddles. Which is no big deal but just a strange little quirk and can cost unknowing users extra fuel.

The BMW i8 is a very good plug-in hybrid sports car. It combines crazy looks with impressive performance and hybrid technology into on enjoyable and exciting package. While it has its strange quirks, it also seems pretty easy to live with.

[Source: Car Magazine]
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