I was super-excited when I found out I had the chance to finally review the BMW i8 – I remember seeing it first in a Mission Impossible movie and being utterly awestruck at its striking looks and futuristic interior. BMW’s claims of it being the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ had me hyped too.
Thankfully, it looked the same in person too with the swooping rear tail-lights, the blue body panels and the retro-inspired front fascia making the car a particular treat to look at- the BMW i8 definitely has to be one of the most beautiful supercars money can by right now.
It’s a positive story inside too, as the interior looks like it was plucked straight out of the Tron series. The fabric and leather seats are comfortable and super supportive around cars. Getting into the car, though, isn’t with – taller people, in particular – having to sit on the sill first and then, sliding onto the seats. It wouldn’t make for the most dignified entrance at the valet, either.
The drive, though, is utterly sublime with the low ride height, mid-engine design and making you forget that this, in fact, is an environmentally-conscious hybrid. It’s crazy to even think that the car comes with a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine and a set of lithium-ion battery packs.
The Eco Pro mode (one of the three driving modes out of Comfort and Sport) is a neat touch too, with a gauge on the odometer telling you how much you need to brake . The Sports mode is where the real drama lies, though, with the odometer and interior lighting turning a bright red and the engine note turning up a serious Lamborghini-worthy notch. The handling and throttle response of the car is great too, but can’t really hold a candle to the pure drama that the 911 or R8 bring, due to the plethora of electronic nannies and the car’s combined 357 horsepower – which looks measly compared to rivals.
All in all, the BMW i8 is a great example of how future supercars should be engineered and look like, but falls short of the claim of being the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’.
*Special thanks to Reem Automobiles (reemauto.ae)