BMW i8 review

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What is?

Four years after launch, the i8 still feels like it came to Earth through a discontinuity in space-time. However, now here is what we earthlings call a face lift. Even if the face has hardly changed. The main novelty is the magnificent Roadster version. The Coupe also gets many of the same changes under the skin, usefully improving both its handling and efficiency.

The i8 looks incredibly radical. Minimal drag formwork for efficiency is artfully combined with crowd-pleasing flourishes of whimsy.

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The powertrain and structure are as unorthodox and gutsy as the styling. A small, mid-mounted 231-hp petrol engine drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox, while a large 143-hp electric motor drives the front wheels.

This allows for three different types of propulsion. In sport mode, you have the drive of an AWD sports car with performance that nearly matches BMW’s own M4. Hybrid mode is peaceful and ultra-efficient. Or you can travel purely electrically at up to 75mph, using the plug-in battery reserve.

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The car can fine-tune its driving strategy to use the minimum amount of energy, whether that energy comes from gasoline or electricity.

Low drag is one of them, as is minimal rolling resistance – look at those tires. Another is light. The coupe weighs 1,535 kg. Even the Roadster weighs less than 1,600kg, less than a 911 when equipped with 4-wheel drive, an automatic gearbox and a power roof. How did they do this? Using a carbon fiber tub with aluminum subframes and lightweight exterior panels.

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They also eliminated the original’s front understeer by using a new front shock calibration and a stronger rear stabilizer bar. The Roadster gets these changes and the Coupe takes the sportiness to the next level.

The Roadster isn’t just a fair-weather spy. The three-layer power fabric roof is well sealed and quiet. So add another facet to this amazing car. Driving silently through a city in electric mode, with the roof open, makes you feel intimately enchanted with the urban landscape. But with the roof in sport 4WD mode, you still have the coupe’s talent as an all-weather ground cover.

Our choice of the range.

Protonic Frozen Black Edition 2 door automatic

What’s the verdict?

This is the future, supercar buyers. If this is how it should be, go ahead.
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There is nothing like the i8. Its bewildering complexity stems from the need to build a durable sports car for a new era. Regardless, what makes him great are the many facets of his personality. He’ll sniff along his favorite mountain path, then calm down and head back down the road. Powered by electricity, it glides discreetly like a bicycle. If you’re just hanging out, hybrid mode isn’t just hygienic, it’s fascinating in its own way. In addition, the new open version adds another layer. It gives a deeper insight into the environment in which you travel, the environment that all the complexity of the i8 strives to protect.

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