For a brand that used the “Ultimate Driving Machine” as its motto for a long, long time, going all “green” with the sole sports car in its range was a rather unusual move, at the time, by BMW.
The i8 is not an easy car to pinpoint. Its price tag puts it up against some serious competition in the sports car segment, yet it is unlike any other sports car out there.
Center stage is, of course, its futuristic bodywork design that’s reminiscent of an exotic, as is its carbon chassis and butterfly doors, but the 1.5-liter turbo three-pot doesn’t exactly endow it with supercar credentials.
Nor, for that matter, does the 362 HP combined output of the petrol engine and electric motors (no wonder there’s talk of doubling that on the second-gen) or the 4.4-second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time. That’s super-hatch territory right now, but no hatch (or other sports cars, apart from the much more powerful Honda NSX) boasts an AWD hybrid drivetrain or the capacity for zero-emissions driving.
Still, is $150k a reasonable price for a new i8? Doug deMuro borrowed one in Connecticut to examine all its features carefully and, yes, find out whether it can deliver the goods on the road. It wasn’t perfect, but it managed to win him over to the point that he labelled it worth its money.