If you thought the words hybrid and sports car could never be used to describe the same vehicle then you most certainly need to check out the BMW i8. The i8 is a top contender for the raddest, baddest hybrid on the road today. From the swan-wing doors to the super low profile, the BMW i8 series screams luxury sports car while the engine whispers hybrid when you start it up. The experts at German Auto Center have been fortunate enough to get a firsthand look at this vehicle, and it’s the perfect example of how far hybrids have come in the last decade.
BMW is heavily promoting that the i8 is a vehicle with sports car looks and power but the emission and consumption value of a compact car. That’s all well and good, but to many drivers it’s the stylish ride that really makes this a must-have machine. The aggressive, yet sleek styling makes it a real head turner no matter what road you’re driving down. But blink and you may miss the i8 as it flies by.
BMW i8 Performance and Pricing
BMW’s turbocharged 3-cylinder TwinPower engine plus the eDrive motor equals serious power. The i8 handles extremely well, brakes efficiently and has way more than enough get up and go. Here’s a look at the BMW i8’s impressive performance specifications:
• 357 horsepower
• 420 pound-foot of torque (combined)
• 6-speed shiftable automatic
• 0-to-60 in 4.2 seconds
• Top speed of 155 MPH
• Up to 76 MPGe
• Rear-wheel drive
• All-wheel drive system
• Lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 7.1 kWh
• Dynamic Stability System specific for hybrids
• Double-wishbone front suspension
• Electric steering
• Auto start-stop
• Dynamic cruise control
The price tag for this amazing feat of engineering is reflective of the top rate power, performance and styling. The average price you’ll pay new is $136,650. Leasing the i8 will cost you around $2,100 a month.
BMW i8 Interior
The interior of the BMW i8 is just as sleek and streamlined as the exterior. A lot of thought has gone into making the interior of this car as sporty yet comfortable as possible. For instance, there is a driver footrest for those long drives down the highway. The i8 accommodates four comfortably, especially up front where there are 6-way power controls and 3-way heating in the bucket seats. All four seats are wrapped in grey leather with cloth highlights for a sporty two-tone coloration.
Throughout there are glossy metal finishes that give the interior a slightly futuristic look. A popup navigation screen helps to maintain the sweeping look of the dash when it’s not in use. Automatic 2-zone climate control and a slew of settings for just about every feature make the i8 a relaxing ride.
BMW i8 Tech Components
With such an elevated level of styling and power, BMW wasn’t going to start cutting corners on the tech components. Even the standard model has way more gadgets and creature comforts than most other upgraded sports cars. The i8’s tech features include:
• Harman Kardon sound system
• iDrive system
• Advanced real-time traffic monitoring
• Enhanced USB connectivity
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Full-color navigation system
• On board computer that checks all the components
• Mobile office features
• Rain-sensing windshield wipers
• Ambiance lighting
• Park Distance Control
• Anti-theft alarm system
• Remote, keyless locks
• Active Driving Assistance with surround view
BMW i8 Upgrades and Options
The base model is certainly attention getting and more than any driver could ever need. But the upgrades and options offered by BMW aren’t about needs. It’s about customizing your luxury sports car to your exact liking. Extras and add-ons for the i8 include:
• Giga World upgrade package
• Pure Impulse World upgrade package
• Tera World upgrade package
• Mega World upgrade package
• 20” alloy wheels
Germans were the first to get the BMW i8 in the summer of 2014, and Americans have been able to get one of their own since the beginning of the year. Needless to say, it’s too soon to tell what electrical or engine hang ups this revolutionary machine may have. As one of the few Bosch-authorized Austin BMW service centers, if there is an i8 in need of repair or maintenance in Central Texas we’re likely to see it come through our doors.
The best thing owners can do to minimize the possibility of repairs is to keep up with regular maintenance. The i8’s computer system will let you know when servicing is needed, but drivers should also listen out for any odd sounds or quirks in the electrical components. And it’s always recommended to have BMW repairs in Austin performed by experienced technicians, especially when your vehicle sports an electric engine.