Is the BMW i8 one of the most stunning cars on the road and can it really drive as well as it looks? This is what Geraldine Herbert thinks about this rather special BMW.
What is it?
The 2014 BMW i8 is the epitome of a supercar but underneath the sleek and seductive silhouette is a hybrid system that is so economical it makes your lawnmower look thirsty.
Who is it aimed at?
This is a super car for the well-heeled and eco conscious.
The broad BMW kidney grille stretches over to the slim headlights, making it instantly recognisable as a BMW, but all similarity ends there. Stunning, low and wide the i8 looks like something from another dimension. The proportions are perfect, the angles exaggerated and the green credentials are nothing short of astounding.
Under the Bonnet?
There is an electric motor powering the front wheels and a tiny turbo-charged petrol engine in the back powering the rear wheels so what you end up with is an all wheel drive system. There is also a third source of power in the form of an small electric motor that acts as a generator.
What about inside?
Inside it is the most modern interpretation of a BMW interior but it still very familiar BMW territory. And while the doors only enhance the futuristic look they do make it impossible to slip gracefully in and out the of the ‘very’ low-slung i8.
With a sculptured dash, the details and materials used throughout are exquisite it comes so fully loaded with equipment there are few, if any, options omitted. That said there is no storage space, the rear seats are virtually redundant and weight saving means there is little adjustment to the deep bucket seats.
On the Road?
The i8 feels remarkably normal on the road, it is balanced and poised and if you weren’t aware of the very clever technology that seamlessly merges all these system you would be forgiven for thinking this was a regular sportscar. But there is a quality to the i8 that is unlike nothing else on the road and it is an incredibly impressive car.
There’s loads of power but, more significantly there’s ample torque and it is delivered without a hint of a lag. The engine note is pitch perfect: throaty, deep and reverberating. It is artificially generated and more of a sports car soundtrack but it sounds so good you won’t care.
BMW’s i8 incorporates the very latest safety and accident research and requirements of international crash test procedures and given the strength of its structure the BMW i8 should be excellent and we would expect when the EuroNCAP publish the results of crashtests on the i8 safety that it will achieve full marks.
Will it break the bank?
At £99,895 the i8 is not cheap.
The official fuel consumption figures are a remarkable 135 miles to the gallon or 2.1 litres per 100 km or with carbon emissions of just 49g/km.
The i8 is clearly not for everyone, the price is eye watering, the seats in the back are tiny and the boot is ridiculously small plus those doors need such a space to open in that they are actually the most impractical thing about it.
But this is not what the i8 is about. Above all it is a futuristic car packed with cutting edge technology that is destined to be the gene-pool from which all future cars draw inspiration.
At a time when everyone seems to be clamouring for lower emissions and more efficiency, BMW have created a car to prove that there is a sustainable and fun to drive future for the sports car.
Why you’ll buy one? Stunning looks; cutting edge technology; driving dynamics
Why you won’t? Price and possible ease of parking and practicality
This is a Car Review for women written by wheelsforwomen.co.uk; a website offering honest, informative and jargon-free car reviews, news and features. Even better, all reviews are written by women for women.