Here’s why the revolutionary BMW i8 is a guaranteed future classic

BMW’s remarkable i8 coupé was a highly anticipated development. From a concept car to a full production model for the road, it was BMW’s first attempt to develop a fast sports car with advanced plug-in hybrid technology. Indeed, the i8 was to become the flagship of its new Efficiency I range. Design became the main talking point of the i8 and was out of its world. Almost eight years after its launch, the i8’s revolutionary design is still turning heads today.

Its unveiling in 2014 at the Frankfurt Motor Show stunned the automotive world with its cutting-edge design and mid-engine layout. BMW demonstrated how far behind the industry was in producing sporty and attractive hybrid vehicles. Moreover, the innovative design was a master class in aerodynamics. With all its complex technology, the pioneering BMW combined emission-free mobility with high performance, adding “eco-friendliness” to supercar driving.

Not only has the BMW i8 become the best-selling hybrid sports car in the world, it has also won several awards for its revolutionary design and concept. Additionally, BMW’s i8 plug-in hybrid drive system won the International Engine Of The Year award for three consecutive years between 2015 and 2017.

A superb roadster variant of the i8 followed in 2018, receiving an increased dose of power. BMW sold just over 20,000 units of the i8 worldwide before ending production in 2020. With rumors of a successor still not definitive, the iconic BMW i8 is, without a doubt, in going on to become a future classic.

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The BMW i8 had electrifying performance

The BMW i8 comes with a 1.5 three-cylinder turbocharged engine located in the rear of the car and an electric motor in the front, developing 231 horsepower and 131 horsepower respectively. That equates to a total output of 362 horsepower and an impressive 420 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. The combustion engine transfers power to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor powers the front wheels via a two-speed automatic. BMW refers to this as a “hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system”

The huge torque boost from the electric motor catapults the i8 to 60mph in 4.4 seconds and peaks at 155mph. However, it boasts an impressive “real-world” combined economy of 40 MPG, albeit a far cry from BMW’s somewhat optimistic claims on paper. No doubt the i8 managed to deliver the performance of a supercar with the running costs of a small city car. Weighing 3200 pounds, the i8 uses smart lightweight construction and architecture that ensures perfect weight distribution.

The BMW i8 is an avant-garde design concept that emphasizes efficiency. Although it encompasses all the hallmarks of a supercar, it was never intended to be a drift machine or to achieve a sub-seven-minute lap on the Nordschleife like the Porsche 918 Spyder. Granted, the i8 isn’t as satisfying to drive as some sports cars. However, it has enough agility, poise and electrifying straight-line performance to keep pace with a 911 Carrera. The only anomaly in the formula is the steering, which lacks feedback.

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The i8’s design was out of this world

Without a doubt, the i8 is all about aerodynamics. It is true that there is nothing like it on the road. Indeed, the design language of the i8 was heavily influenced by the BMW M1 Hommage Concept Car. The design is a fusion of intricate surfaces, contrasting colors and crisp, distinctive creases.

Furthermore, the attention to detail and the skilful execution of the forms are impressive, such as the intricate design around the brake lights. Then you have the stunning dihedral doors which add to the drama.

The i8 uses a lightweight structure made of a combination of aluminum, carbon fiber and thermal plastics. Plus, the short overhangs, 20-inch alloys, and wide body provide an aggressive stance.

Arguably, the i8 roadster variant is the better looking of the two.

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Futuristic design flowed into the cabin

Futuristic styling carries over to the i8’s cabin with unique futuristic touches, comfortable seats and a sleek dashboard. Moreover, it is well equipped with the latest technologies. Unsurprisingly, the i8 shares most of its equipment with other BMW models, lower in the range.

However, the digital speedometer and tachometer provide clear information. Additionally, the i8 also benefits from rear seats, which are more suitable for small children or better used as additional luggage space. With a 154-litre rear cargo hatch, space is somewhat lacking, with just enough room for a small travel bag.

Also, getting in and out of the car requires a different pace of movement than a conventional sports car. This is mainly due to the angle of the pocket doors and the low seating position.

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The BMW i8 is a flawed super sports car

Despite the i8’s loyal following, many considered the BMW i8 a commercial failure. Some would argue that the BMW i8 was way ahead of its time and the global market just wasn’t ready for this futuristic machine. Then there was the hefty price tag of $150,000, which many considered too high for a three-cylinder hybrid sports car, thus suffering a monumental depreciation.

Regardless of its flaws, the BMW i8 is an impressive sports car with cutting-edge technology, speed and stunning design that will undoubtedly turn heads for years to come. A future Classic!

Source: BMW

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