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Top Gear Drag Races #1: BMW i8 vs BMW M4

It's BMW's petrol-fuelled icon up against the exotic hybrid pioneer. Who'll win?

Welcome to the first in a series of head-to-heads we’ve put together, and what looks like a win-win for BMW. For the rest of us however, there’s much at stake.

We all know how brilliant the i8 hybrid is - how it combines a 3cyl engine, electric power and lightweight materials to spellbinding effect. A glimpse into the future, you’d say.

The M4 is a dinosaur by comparison - the same front engined, rear-wheel drive layout that has served BMW for decades. OK, so the engine in question is a sophisticated twin turbo straight-six, but it’s not a game-changer, it’s a refinement of a tried and tested formula.

Question is, can it out muscle the butterfly-doored star in BMW’s range? It’s rear-wheel drive against four-wheel drive, tradition against a brave new world, what we know versus what’s coming. On paper, this one’s too close to call.

Seconds out, round one…

Come back next Friday for the second instalment

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