Electric Car Awards 2023: Best used hybrid performance car

With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best used hybrid performance car...

You might have spotted the BMW i8 concept in the film Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and thought a sports car as futuristic looking as that could never make its way onto your driveway. If you did, you might want to think again.

The production version of the i8 still turns heads today, not just because of its sleek design and butterfly doors, but also because you can now pick one up for just £36,000 (versus more than £100k when they were new). True, that’s still not cheap, but you’ll have to pay far more than that for an Audi R8 or Porsche 911 of a similar age. And we think i8 prices will only go up from here.

BMW i8 rear

What’s more, being a plug-in hybrid, the i8 is more affordable to run than those cars. Driving the rear wheels is a 228bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine. This is joined by a 129bhp electric motor that powers the front wheels, making the i8 four-wheel drive. Alternatively, the i8 can run on electric power alone for up to 20 miles at a time.

The i8 is equally clever when it comes to its construction; extensive use of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic and aluminium means it’s exceptionally light. As a result, performance is far stronger than its tiny engine might suggest – it’ll easily keep up with a comparable 911 – and the i8 handles sweetly, with very quick steering and plenty of grip.

BMW i8

The i8 is more practical than many of its rivals, thanks in part to its four-seat layout. The rear seats don’t offer much space, but they might come in handy for short trips or as an additional luggage area. Sports cars such as the Alpine A110 and Jaguar F-Type don’t have rear seats at all.

Does the i8 have any direct plug-in hybrid competitors? Not really. The Porsche Panamera is more expensive at the same age, and you won’t find a Honda NSX or Polestar 1 for anywhere near the i8’s reasonable prices.

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