Ever since first seeing it, I’ve been desperate to drive the BMW i8 Roadster. It just looks so right and has so much curb appeal that I feel compelled to get in and go. Doesn’t matter where, doesn’t matter how far. I just wanna go. In this new video from Carfection, Henry Catchpole mirrors that sentiment by saying the i8 Roadster looks as if it should have been a roadster from the beginning and I agree. But, more importantly, is it any good to drive?
On some twisty and beautiful Spanish roads, the BMW i8 Roadster just looks like something that would be epic to drive, especially sans roof. However, the way it drives is far less supercar-like than something like an Audi R8. It’s competent and capable but it’s not thrilling or scintillating. The steering is accurate and sharp but numb, its chassis is good and composed but lacks seat-of-your-pants feedback. It’s a technically impressive car but, at least at higher speeds on twisty roads, it doesn’t communicate with the driver.
Still, there’s something about it that draws you in. The style, the presence and its breadth of ability are tantalizing. The way it can either silently cruise through a city center under electric power alone or use that electric power to help rocket the i8 out of corners is remarkable. It’s one of those cars that isn’t perfect and has a lot of flaws but it so desirable anyway that you sort of don’t care. Driving around in the i8 Roadster for even just a bit would likely eliminate any doubts or preconceived negativity. It’s charming and interesting in a way that few cars are.
As Catchpole says, it’s not a perfect car and, in many ways, it fails to represent the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ motto that its brand and its looks represent. But it’s a fantastic suburban sports car and one that just looks right.