Automobile Magazine names the BMW i8 and 2 Series Coupe on their AUTOMOBILE All-Star list. To keep thing simple, Automobile Mag says their All-Stars will be the only star cars and only new cars launched. No complicated criteria, no price caps, no categories.
Both the i8 and 2 Series Coupe made their debut this year, and while the 228i or M235i are widely available at U.S. dealerships, the hybrid sports car i8 remains sold out at most dealers.
Here is an excerpt from their review of the 2 Series Coupe:
The 2 Series is BMW’s most intimate car, at least distantly related to the 2002 model, and it’s diminutive by today’s supersized standards. The 3.0-liter turbo is one of the sweetest engines made today, partly because it’s potent but not pretentious, and intensely responsive. Like the entire car, it’s not out to make a big statement. This car is for the true Bimmer believers or, better yet, the car to create a new crop of believers.
The BMW M235i is not a true-blue M model — gods willing, an M2 will arrive soon — but even the base 228i is a total blast. The engine and power are downsized (a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 240 hp), but the fun isn’t. Equipped with a manual, it weighs less than 3,300 pounds. It will teach you a lesson in rolling momentum, using the brakes only when necessary and negotiating the highest cornering speed while mitigating understeer. Any decent driver can go quickly with 600 hp and carbon-ceramic brakes; it takes old-school skills to do the same in a 2. The beauty is that you’ll murder heavier, high-horsepower cars in the corners.
And the i8 review:
In other words, it’s pretty hot stuff.
The specialness begins the second you duck below the swan-wing doors, cozy into luxurious chairs, and fire up the all-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain: 129 electric horses for front wheels and a 228-hp, electrically assisted three-cylinder gasoline engine out back. Gentle driving lets the i8 cover roughly 22 miles on battery power alone. In our testing, it delivered up to 38 highway mpg.
Toggle up to Sport mode, and the BMW i8 replenishes its 7.1-kilowatt-hour battery on the fly — “fly” being the operative word, with the i8 surging from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The i8’s yee-haw acceleration doesn’t seem to compute with 357 on-paper horses, until you consider the slender 3,455- pound curb weight, nitrous-like electric boost, and a ruthlessly effective six-speed automatic transmission.
With a long wheelbase, precise (if overlight) steering, and an intimate GT-style cabin, the BMW is adept at both stoplight and weekend getaways. All-wheel-drive poise combines with surprisingly robust grip for a car with relatively narrow, fuel-saving 20-inch tires. Yet this hybrid saved some gas-electric fireworks for GingerMan Raceway, carving fluid laps and charming the pants off driver after driver.