BMW i8 Review The BMW i8 really does redefine what a supercar can be.
With looks that are the stuff of a bedroom poster, including ground hugging proportions and 'butterfly' doors, it's BMW's most striking car ever. The performance is brutal too, with a 4.4 second 0 62mph sprint, while the handling oakley oil drum us up there with the very best sports cars.But here's the thing: its official average fuel consumption rating is 134.5mpg, and CO2 is 49g/km. Those near miraculous numbers come because the i8 is a petrol electric hybrid, and the culmination of all BMW's engineering knowhow. It's not the perfect supercar by any means, but it's more stunning and more futuristic than anything else close to its price.The BMW i8 is a real departure from what you think you know about oakley website the supercar market. This is a car with pace to oakley valve rival the best sports cars, and marks an achievement of true innovation in terms of design, performance, and efficiency. In years to come, we may end up looking back on the i8 as the supercar that saved the supercar from extinction.Though it sits alongside the clever little i3 in BMW's eco friendly 'i' range, the i8 is a different offering altogether. It mates a daring, rakish design and head turning looks with an advanced plug in hybrid powertrain. This all sits on a chassis made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) which BMW developed at great expense specifically for its electric cars.In some ways the powertrain isn't really original plenty of other hybrids mate petrol and electric motors to achieve good fuel efficiency but it's the way they're combined in the i8 that's mesmerising. It places a 1.5 litre three cylinder turbo engine also found in the MINI Cooper behind the driver, and links it to an electric motor at the front.Nothing too sci fi there, but the combination of a 228bhp MINI engine driving the rear wheels and a 139bhp electric motor driving the fronts gives the i8 stunning, instant acceleration and four wheel drive traction.It boasts a total of 357bhp and 570Nm of torque and, as a result, the BMW i8 will blast from 0 62mph in just 4.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 155mph. It's not quite Ferrari 488 GTB territory, but it'll give most Porsche 911s a fright, and runs the Audi R8 close.That puts the BMW i8's 100,000 price point into perspective. In fact, combined with its zero VED status and 134.5mpg fuel efficiency rating, it looks a relative bargain.Is it perfect? No. The reality is that you can't have that much technology working away in a sports car and make the driving experience feel truly 'natural' (a fake engine noise is piped into the cabin through the speakers, for example) but oakley pit boss it does a very good job of trying. It's also not as economical in real life as it is on paper, not by any means.But still, no other sports car of this type and price can come close to its efficiency, or its sense of futuristic occasion, and that makes the i8 truly special.A sports car with a three cylinder engine doesn't sound like the most thrilling prospect in the world, but thanks to the assistance of an electric motor, the i8 feels every bit as quick as an Audi R8.Officially, 0 62mph takes 4.4 seconds, but because you have the instant torque of the electric motor, it actually feels a lot faster in the real world. It doesn't matter what gear you're in the i8 comes as standard with a six speed automatic transmission the i8 responds instantly to every prod of the throttle.The i8's nature as part supercar, part eco car means it has different driving modes that affect how the engine and electric motor interact with each other. So, slot the gearlever to the left into Sport mode you get the petrol engine running all the time, the full output from the electric motor, firmer settings for the dampers and more aggressive power steering.Keep it in Comfort or Eco Pro mode, though, and the i8 will try and run on electric power alone, bringing in the petrol engine only when you accelerate aggressively or go above 45mph. The eco friendly eDrive setting gives you pure electric running for up to 22 miles, and raises the maximum speed to 75mph.Adding to the sensation of speed is the automatic gearbox, which delivers seamless changes to create the illusion of an uninterrupted wave of acceleration. Best sports cars to buy right nowGuide the i8 through a series of bends and it feels light on its feet, with barely any body roll and a crisp response from the fingertip light steering. Unlike some rivals that feel as if they are pummeling the road into submission, the BMW is more delicate and measured, requiring only small inputs from the driver.Once you're actually in the corner, you'll find the i8 isn't quite as engaging or as adjustable as a 911 or Audi R8, but it's seriously capable nonetheless.Thanks to the standard adaptive dampers, ride comfort is pretty good, while the BMW's aerodynamic styling it boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.26 means there's very little wind noise.A three cylinder turbo petrol engine which, with 228bhp, is boosted to roughly 100bhp more than it has in the MINI Cooper is located mid rear, behind the driver. It powers the rear wheels.The electric motor, with 139bhp, is in front of the driver and powers the front axle. That gives the i8 all wheel drive, with the motors able to work together or independently of each other. Clever software ensures that during gentle driving the electric motor, which draws power from a lithium ion battery pack, assists the petrol motor in using as little fuel as possible.
On the other hand, during more aggressive driving the two combine forces fully, with the electric motor serving up instant torque for a quick getaway then helping the i8 achieve its 357bhp maximum output.If that output doesn't sound like much in this context, that's because it isn't the latest Audi R8 develops 533bhp but the i8 is very light for a hybrid, so it doesn't need masses of power.Clever tuning means that the i8 sounds a little like a Porsche flat six from the inside, particularly in Sport mode when the electronically enhanced soundtrack piped into the cabin through the stereo speakers is turned up to full volume.
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