A ride in BMW’s cars of the future

But it still feels and sounds like a sports car, not a strangely whirring hybrid. And if you don't have any Porsches to chase, you can pootle across town to get to work, running entirely electrically and using no fuel whatever.

Up at BMW's winter testing ground, there's a big patch of electrically warmed tarmac. So you're on a dry grippy surface where all around is snow and ice. We arrived at one end of it. My engineer stopped, put the car in sport mode – which both starts the petrol engine and tells the additional electric motor to contribute its best efforts too. “Ready?” he asks. Why need he ask? Because when he pressed the loud pedal I really did have to be braced. It properly kicks you in the back.