First drive: the BMW i8
BMW's future-proof hybrid sports car is finally here, and we've driven it. But what's it actually like?
Posted: 26 Apr 2014
I still don't believe the official economy numbers. Fess up, what did you actually get?
Er, about 24mpg on a fairly long day. But some context. There was some town running to begin with, and I did that at pretty much infinity mpg, because it was all electric. Then it was up into the mountains, where it fell to 19mpg. I really think other sports cars this quick would have been sub-20 for the town bit and low-teens for the mountains, given it was so heavy on second gear hairpins. My route took in barely any A-road cruising and just five or so miles of motorway. At steady speeds, the i8's small engine and its low drag would definitely help economy.
I can well believe it would go 30-50 per cent further on a gallon than rivals if you never plugged it in. If you always plugged it in and just did short commutes you'd never use any fuel at all. Somewhere between those usage extremes lies the 135mpg of the official test.