BMW i8 Prototype First Drive by Car and Driver

BMW i8 Prototype 6 photos
Photo: Car And Driver
BMW i8 PrototypeBMW i8 PrototypeBMW i8 PrototypeBMW i8 PrototypeBMW i8 Prototype
One thing about the i8 can surely be said: it's one of the most anticipated cars to come out of BMW's assembly lines in the last 10 years, at the least. The fact that it will grant its owner almost supercar performances for a fuel consumption of around 94 mpg (2.5 l/100km) is in itself a great plus.
Considering all the other advantages, you simply cannot ignore or say no to the i8. Car and Driver were lucky enough to drive it around BMW's test track in France and share their thoughts on the matter.

As you probably already know, the i8 has 2 engines on board: a conventional, 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine mounted transversely in the back and an electric unit at the front that powers the front axle alone.

Actually the i8 is both front wheel drive and all wheel drive, depending on how you look at it. The electric motor at the front can work on itself and power the front axle, making the car FWD for up to 22 miles and up to speeds of 75 mph.

When that threshold is passed, the B38 engine at the back chips in and takes the car up to a maximum speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). With both engines working, the i8 is an all-wheel-drive car.

That makes the i8 unique once again. It's the first BMW that has FWD (at times) and uses an electric motor hooked up to a gearbox that has 2 speeds, another unique feature (most electric motors have only 1 speed).

The thing that caught the attention of the guys from Car and Driver was the interior, that is very well finished and ergonomic. Furthermore, you have a bit of space in the back but don't get too excited, it is limited in a Porsche 911 way, due to the engine sitting back there.
Driving the car feels, let's say interesting. It corners unexpectedly well whilst the acceleration is pretty brutal, considering the amount of torque it has. It's also a light car, being almost 100 kg lighter than the 435i.

The brakes are efficient, even though they have the regeneration function, a thing rarely seen on EVs. Don't get us wrong, it doesn't mean that in other cars the brakes don't function, but they don't inspire as much confidence, that's all.

Bottom line, the i8 will definitely be interesting to see on the market. Its competition in the US includes the Corvette C7 Stingray and the Porsche 911, both of them because of the price and performance ratio but not due to the fuel efficiency.

Via: Car and Driver
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