BMW was looking for a new sports car back in 2009. They have launched many saloons and hatchbacks by that time. BMW showed the early ideas with a concept, 2009’s Vision EfficientDynamics. BMW stands for sheer driving pleasure, and they wanted to combine this pleasure with environmental friendliness. So, they planned for something special for their new ‘i’ lineup. The first unit of i8 was revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Later, i8 was released in June 2014 in Germany.
The BMW i8 offers a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gas engine with a 7.1-kWh battery pack and two electric motors. This trio of power sources delivers a total of 369 horsepower and is capable of driving four wheels. The power of this car is 357 bhp with a torque of 570 N-m at 3700 rpm. This car can go 0-62mph within 4.4 seconds. The top speed is 155mph as per BMW. This car is relatively lightweight, having heavy batteries and a pair of powertrains. According to BMW, the i8 weighs only 1535kg.
Apart from the regular model, BMW released a roadster variant in May 2018. The main difference between the regular and the roadster is its power and weight. The roadster version has a power of 369 bhp, and it weighs 1595kg. The top speed is the same in both the models, but the roadster needs 4.6s to get 0-62mph. They also increased the battery capacity of both models from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh in 2018. The i8 achieved many awards, including the UK Performance Car of the Year 2015.
The i8 is famous for its fuel economy. Only a few cars can claim 128.4mpg, let alone cars with the performance that i8 offers. According to the company, the i8 has an electric range of 34 miles at 75mph. However, these claims are tested in an ideal environment. According to many BMW i8 reviews, you may experience fewer opportunities to use electric power alone. You can get 45mpg in mixed driving. Yet, this is a surprising number for a sports car.
If we look at the negative sides of this car, this car has very poor luggage space. BMW tried to fix this in the fixed-roof versions by adequating the rear seats. Another thing is that two power sources and batteries take most of the space, and there is not enough space left for the fuel tank. The fuel tank size is only 42 liters. Thus, you have to stop around every 300 miles for refueling.
The driving experience of this car is unique. You can cruise for a decent distance with a respectable speed. The exhaust sound is quite interesting and augmented through the cabin speakers. From the driving position to the viewing angle, BMW has focused on every detail of this car. It is a driver-friendly car. The driving feel is somehow better than many M series cars and many BMW new models. However, cornering in this car is not up to the mark. The cornering is decent but compared to the rivals; it lacks a bit.
Finally, the BMW i8 seems like a futuristic car even today. If you compare i8 with other hybrid sports cars like Honda NSX or Porsche 911 or those from Ferrari and McLaren, the BMW i8 is way cheaper than all of them. Still, i8 has the same visual impact when you park in the neighborhood or wait in a traffic jam. The BMW i8 offers style, economy, and performance in the same package. BMW stopped the production of the i8 in 2020. It is one of the best creations of BMW and one of the most appealing plug-in cars too.