What Car? Uncut introduces our long-term BMW i8
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car has joined our long-term test fleet - here's how we're getting on with it...
The BMW i8 is one of our favourite sports cars. It's a sister car to the smaller and more affordable BMW i3 hatchback, and forms part of BMW's range of i-branded electric and hybrid vehicles. The i8 is a plug-in hybrid, and features an electric motor working in conjunction with a petrol engine to provide power - in fact, it's the same small petrol engine which already features in the Mini hatchback.
BMW says the i8 can travel for up to 22 miles on electric power alone before its petrol engine kicks in, and the car can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.4 sec - quicker than most sports cars. The i8 is fast in a straight line, but it's also very light, giving it the kind of agile handling and crisp steering response you'd expect from a car in this class.
Inside, the i8 offers a futuristic interior with a fully digital dashboard and luxurious materials used throughout. There are familiar elements, though, including BMW's excellent iDrive infotainment and satellite navigation system. The two-door i8 is, technically, a four-seater, but in reality the rear bench is best reserved for children over short distances.
So why are we so excited to be living with a BMW i8? Deputy editor of whatcar.com Darren Moss explains.