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
So was this re-invention of the car worthwhile?
Well, it costs £95k after the Government grant, and a 350bhp 911 Carrera 4 PDK is £80k if vastly more tax-heavy. Now, was it worth all this BMW brainpower and new tech to make a car slightly less sporty than the Porsche that uses rather less fuel? That's a very dull question. For a start the 911 is 50 years into its development; the i8 is a first stab. I suspect different tyres and a firmware flash will soon improve it. But more than that, the i8 is exploring the future. It bestows lightweight construction, hybrid expertise, and a quick-thinking highly creative engineering mentality onto the whole BMW group.
It's an enormously satisfying thing to drive, because if you're thinking about it you can use its different characteristics in different ways to suit the moment - in fact it's at its very best either wafting in pure-EV mode, or being thrashed in sport mode.
And it makes everyone point and smile.