Feature

BMW i8 vs Porsche 911

The BMW i8 hybrid looks stunning and has the potential to be amazingly cheap to run, but is it a better sports car than the Porsche 911?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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BMW i8 side

What will they cost?

There’s a big disparity in the prices of these two. However, the Β£15,000 gap narrows over three years of ownership.

Neither Porsche nor BMW dealers are likely to give you a penny off, but the i8 qualifies for the Government’s plug-in electric vehicle grant, which save you Β£4500. Both cars are predicted to hold on to their value well.

Servicing and insurance costs for the two cars are much more comparable, but what claws back the most ground for the i8 is its fantastic efficiency, because its hybrid technology means that you’ll spend much less time at the pumps. We were unable to obtain a True MPG figure, but it should prove more efficient than the 911. Just don’t expect the i8 to get near its official claimed 134.5mpg figure.

The other benefit of the i8’s part-electric power is its tiny official CO2 emissions of 49g/km (vs the 911’s 174g/km), which is brilliant news for those lucky enough to be able run an i8 as a company car. It sits 21 tax bands below the 911, meaning it will cost a 40% taxpayer around Β£20k less in company car tax over the same three years.

Sadly, recent changes to the tax rules mean the i8 no longer exempt from road tax, and will instead cost private buyers Β£620 over three years. However, that still a lot less than the Β£2620 of the 911.

Both cars come with alloy wheels, climate control, electric windows, automatic lights, electrically adjustable front seats, sat-nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and USB sockets. The i8’s list goes on to add automatic wipers, cruise control, LED headlights, heated front seats with lumbar adjustment and front and rear parking sensors. Porsche offers four free colours (black, yellow, red and white) whereas BMW provides only grey free of charge.

Neither car has been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but both get a tyre-pressure monitor, an alarm system and six airbags as standard. Spending Β£1490 on BMW’s Driving Assistant pack adds advanced city braking technology – something that isn’t available on the 911.

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