With news of the BMW i8 going out of production next month, many enthusiasts are feeling nostalgic, myself included. I remember the first time I saw the car, thinking: “I can’t wait to drive this thing”. A couple of years later, I was behind the steering wheel of one and the feeling it gave me is still there, in the back of my mind. To this day, the i8 is a very interesting exercise in a number of areas.
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What BMW managed to do with it is prove that supercar looks and sports car performance can be achieved without having to deal with all the obvious downsides they bring along. You don’t need a massive V8 for incredible performance as long as you use electric motors. This recipe has been then adopted and used by other manufacturers as well, the latest being Koenigsegg with its Gemera model which has 1,700 HP and a 2-liter engine under the hood.
In this video we get to see the i8 competing in a drag race against some really stiff competition. In this particular comparison, the i8 is the oldest car but looks the newest. Surprised? Can’t say I am as that’s been one of the key selling points of the i8 from the beginning. Up against it we have a Porsche 911 Carrera and a Polestar 1. The Porsche is the obvious favorite here as it’s the lightest and has the best launch control of the three.
The Polestar 1 is also a hybrid but with a different formula, compared to the BMW. It uses a 2-liter 4-pot engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged, making 300 HP and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of torque alone alongside 2 electric motors making 232 HP and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft) of torque. The internal combustion unit powers the front wheels while the electric motors do the deed for the rear ones. There’s also an ISG unit on board which can add 68 HP to the mix. Overall, the Polestar 1 can deliver up to 600 HP and 1,000 Nm of torque to the wheels at a time. Impressive, right? Well, as you’re about to see, power isn’t everything, you also need to keep weight in check and that’s where the Polestar 1 has some trouble.