I’m a BMW guy. Always have been, and always will be. The new i8 really opened my eyes and truly showed me that BMW is really branching out into new territory. Call me old school, but give me an E36 M3 in Dakar Yellow II any day of the week. I’m a performance guy and do love some of the new cars in BMWs lineup. But some of their stuff makes me scratch my head. The 5-Series GranTurismo? Really? I’ll save my ranting for another day on how BMW is drifting from their roots. Today we are going to take a quick look at the new i8.
First things first. What the hell is the i8? It is a $136,000 hybrid sports car that is going on sale this coming spring as a 2015 model. No manual transmission is offered, but the automatic transmission will power the rear wheels while the front ones will be pushed by an electric motor that has 131 horsepower. Under the hood is a 1.5 liter turbocharged 3-cylinder that produces 231 horsepower. All in all, you get 362 horsepower. 4.4 seconds is all it takes to get to 62 miles per hour, and you can speed up all the way to 155 miles per hour (75 while driving in electric mode). Fuel economy is as follows – 94 MPG, and only 22 miles per charge when driving in electric mode. Sigh. BMW claims it will take about 4 hours to completely charge the battery, and only 1.5 hours at a “BMW Charging Station”.
I admire what BMW is doing here. They are trying something new and want to break into this new “electric performance” market. I really dig the looks, and reminds me of something that you would see in the 2002 sci-fi film Minority Report. Remember the Lexus from the movie?
The i8 will be driven by countless celebs and athletes who will strive to make our planet “greener”, etc. I wonder how many car enthusiasts and performance guys will actually buy this thing to drive it like a BMW should be driven, and not to Starbucks and Whole Foods. The i8 is cool but I like my cars with big, gas-guzzling V8s. If I had $136,000 to burn on a car(s), I would certainly invest it else where.