The BMW i8 is currently one of the most awarded cars in the world. It’s universally admired and respected, as its world-class combination of performance, efficiency and beauty is something we had yet to see until it debuted. But creating the i8 wasn’t an easy task. From the beginning, the i8’s creative process brought challenges that no one had seen yet as well. But that’s what it takes to create the 2015 Design of the Year. But those new challenges didn’t scare Benoit Jacob, the BMW i’s chief designer, it motivated him.
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According to Jacob, creating the BMW i8 changed car design constraints, which he says is a good thing. “My personal conviction is that there is no good design if there are no good constraints,” said Jacob.
But the reason that the BMW i8 completely changed the constraints of car design is the fact that the current automobile is a pretty much perfect. Being that current automobile ares basically the perfect design, as they are already so comfortable, fast, efficient and are built with a level of quality that’s higher than ever. “Cars have made huge steps in terms of quality, appearance, safety and performance,” said Jacob, “It’s a perfect model, which is very hard to formally evolve.”
Hybrids change the model as it is, as packaging the batteries and electric motors challenge the constraints of a traditional automobile. But to create a plug-in hybrid that is both extremely lightweight, efficient, aerodynamic and that performs at a high level is even more difficult. So Jacob had to shake things up a bit, but had to do so while keeping the same levels of comfort and performance that customers are used to.
It’s obvious that Jacob and his team at BMW were immensely successful, as the BMW i8 is a masterpiece. It challenges the way we look at the automobile, specifically performance cars. It proves that performance cars don’t need big engines nor do they need to be inefficient. It’s why Jacob and his team decided to make a sports plug-in hybrid and not a luxury sedan, “We could’ve said “let’s leave it up to a city car or a family car” but we wanted to claim a very strong BMW statement by saying, “No, we’ll still deliver a car for sheer driving pleasure and reinvent it in a way or define it in a new manner, giving sheer driving pleasure a new interpretation”.
Thus the BMW i8 was born and become an instant phenomenon. The automotive world is fortunate that Jacob and BMW were able to do such things, as now the constraints on making such an automobile have already been developed and conquered, paving the way for brilliant efficient performance cars in the future.