BMW is the creator of possibly the most fascinating car of the past few years. Its BMW i8 has captured the hearts and minds of both car enthusiasts and otherwise. It’s a car that’s been featured on the cover of magazines, in commercials and been getting worldwide attention since its debut a couple of years ago. The i8 is an incredibly polarizing car.
It’s also a very good car in its own right. It doesn’t necessarily need the worldwide fame or attention to be so highly regarded. BMW has made a masterpiece with the i8, as it’s a car for our future, not our present. It’s a car that pushes the boundaries of what we thought was possible in a road car at this moment and time. So let’s take a look at five things that make the BMW i8 so wonderful.
5. Design – It’s no secret that the first thing that captures people’s attention about the i8 is its design. With one of the most futuristic exteriors to ever be fitted to a car, the BMW i8 simply captivates people. Its swoops, creases and funky aerodynamics make it look like something straight out of Minority Report. It certainly doesn’t look like something from today’s world. It’s a stunning looking car and one that will still look incredible decades from now. People will likely look at the i8 in the future as we look at the BMW M1 today. It will be a legend in design.
4. Interior – While the exterior of the i8 is vibrant, exotic and flamboyant, the interior is actually quite muted. It’s simple and elegant. It also houses a lot of normal BMW touches, such as the iDrive screen and controller, the shifter and most of the cabin functions. However, there are futuristic elements added to the i8, such as the high-definition LCD screen that replaces the gauge cluster. BMW has managed to take a familiar design and make it look futuristic, a not-so-easy task. It manages to look and feel special while being completely familiar and easy to use. It really is a triumph of design and functionality.
3. Technology – With a chassis made from CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) and body panels made from thermoplastics, the BMW i8 manages to be extremely light, despite have quite a lot of heavy components on board. It also packs two electric motors, one at the front driving the front wheels and one mounted to the engine to aid in driving the rear wheels, a battery pack and a 1.5 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It’s a techie’s fantasy land. And despite having so many different moving parts and so much technology, it manages to blend it all together seamlessly, so that it feels perfectly natural.
2. Performance/Efficiency – The aforementioned combination of electric motors and engine all combine to develop 357 hp. Combine that power with a roughly 3,500 lb curb weight and all-wheel drive traction and the BMW i8 can get from 0-60 mph in around 3.6 seconds (per Car and Driver). That’s not just fast for a hybrid, it’s properly quick, besting cars like the BMW M4, Corvette Stingray and Porsche 911 Carrera. Adding to that performance is the fact that it can return fantastic fuel economy and produce next to zero emissions. It’s an incredibly clean vehicle that is very fuel efficient while being able to crush most sports cars.
1. Handling – A lot of electric cars are fast and a lot of them look cool. But none of them (outside of the $1 million Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren trio) handle like the i8. Its superb traction and electric torque combined with that punchy engine and lightweight allow it to simply fire out of corners. The aforementioned carbon fiber chassis allows it to be incredibly light as well as rigid, so there’s no chassis flex whatsoever, like a proper supercar. Its engine is mounted in the middle, for better balance. And its steering is superbly accurate. It handles as well as it looks and as well as it goes.
The BMW i8 is the total package, a car that simply doesn’t compromise. It looks fantastic, is comfortable to drive in, fast as hell and handles great. There’s almost nothing it does poorly that it shouldn’t do. The BMW i8 is a revolutionary car, one we’re very fond of here. To be honest, we can name about 50 things we love about the i8, but we’d be here all day. So here are five, you tell us what you love about it.