Exquisite BMW i8 PHEV Drags Rare Jaguar F-Type, Maybe Should Have Stayed Put?

BMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACS 11 photos
Photo: Drag Racing and Car Stuff / YouTube
BMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACSBMW i8 vs Jaguar F-Type drag race by DRACS
BMW ‘i’ has become synonymous with the electrified Bavarian automotive lifestyle since 2011, even though it initially had truly little to show for it.
In the beginning, there were just two model series – the quirky i3 fully electric B-segment city hatchback and the flagship i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Only recently did the company allow for the sub-brand's true expansion, with the all-electric iX3 SUV from 2020, the iX flagship SUV and i4 electric liftback sedan in 2021, as well as the flagship i7 sedan earlier this year.

Back to the original i8 hero car, the production version followed a team of previewing concepts (Vision EfficientDynamics in 2009, i8 Concept in 2011, i8 Concept Spyder in 2012, and i8 coupe prototype in 2013), and went into production in the spring of 2014. A halo model for the entire BMW brand, not just BMW i, the i8 had a roadster version since 2018, went through various upgrades, and gracefully retired in June 2020, after enough global sales to earn the PHEV sports car crown.

Long story short, it was more of a psychological tour de force for BMW than anything else (even when taking into account the 20k+ sales over its lifetime). Thus, it was intended to prove that cool PHEV sports cars can be done and also envisioned as a true collectible that would enjoy an AC garage and only come out of hibernation for a private sale or a major auction, from time to time.

Well, that did not bode well for the owner of this North American example, as it turns out. Brought to us by the videographer behind the Drag Racing and Car Stuff channel on YouTube, who has a couple of infrequent 1/4-mile brawlers to showcase from the Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, it looks decidedly ready to duke it out with any foe.

His opponent, on the other hand, is equally rare – at least as far as dragstrip shenanigans are concerned. The white sports car in the right lane is a pre-facelift Jaguar F-Type two-door grand tourer. Now would be a good time to wager a friendly bet, if you are into this sort of thing, just as we think a bit about the technical specifications.

The BMW i8 had a 1.5-liter B38K15T0 turbo inline-three gasoline engine hooked up to an electric motor and together provided up to 369 horsepower through an Aisin automatic transmission. It might not sound like much, but the i8 was still capable of sprinting to 62 mph (100 kph) in around four seconds and reaching a limited max speed of 155 mph (250 kph).

Meanwhile, its opponent’s exact version is a lot harder to identify. For sure, it was not of the pre-facelift F-Type SVR (2016-2020) variety. But other than that, it is anyone’s guess if we are dealing here with an Ingenium (inline-four, less likely) or V6/V8 model. All we know for sure is that it sounds glorious, so we can easily bet that a supercharger was hiding under the hood. Plus, it’s quite fast, indeed. So, without further ado, let’s see if that i8 should have stayed put, or not…

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
Aurel Niculescu profile photo

Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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