The BMW i8 might be gone now but the car still remains a head turner wherever it goes. Ever since the plug-in hybrid sportscar was launched, it looked nearly the same as the concept that preceded. That is something you don’t come by very often. That’s probably the reason why the i8 remains such an attractive car today.
It’s hard to grasp the fact that it was unveiled over six years ago and that it still remains as futuristic as ever. The one thing a lot of people just can’t seem to get over though is the powertrain choice. That’s understandable too. Whenever you look at the i8, with its butterfly doors and sculpted shapes, you instantly think of a supercar and, of course, a supercar engine. Alas, under the rear hood of the i8 hides nothing more than a 1.5-liter turbocharged, 3-cylinder engine.
It may very well be the most powerful 1.5-liter engine, but it’s still just a 3-cylinder. From the get go though, BMW did say that this engine has a rather interesting note and they weren’t wrong. Considering the B38 mill is basically a B58 cut in half, with some balancing shafts added on, the smaller engine sounds similar to some extent to its straight six brother. Initially, people thought it was because of the Active Sound Design system that basically pumps engine sound into the cabin (and in the case of the i8 outside of it too) for a better experience.
Regardless how hard BMW tried to explain that ASD is meant only to emphasize the real sound the engines make, nobody seemed to listen. Well, the video below proves it as the owner of this i8 turned ASD off to see how the car sounds like without it. Check it out!