Auto Nsider Review: 2017 BMW I8

Tomorrow’s Supercar…..or a Prius for the 1%-ers?


Let’s go with The Supercar of tomorrow, but even the 1%-ers surely won’t mind not paying a gas-guzzler tax….and getting 30+ teal-world MPG’s.


Let’s just jump right in and start with the styling.   Most folks thought that BMW’s i8 looked around 100K more expensive than it is.


And that’s before you pop open the i8’s signature styling cue….it’s scissor-doors.

Now that’s how to attract attention at McDonald’s….and definitely how to get front-row parking on club night.


But let’s get back to the Supercar part.


0-60 in just over 4 seconds.    357 horses.    155 MPH top end.   50 / 50 weight distribution.    Brakes that feel like they could stop a rocket in mid-launch.    Light weight aluminum and carbon fiber construction.    Good stuff.


Oh….all that AND 30+ MPG.


What’s the trick?   Yes….as you guessed, it’s a hybrid.   A quick-charge battery propels the front….and a 1.5 liter, three-cylinder twin turbo moves the back end.


And while it’s hard to make a 1.5 liter three growl like a big-block V-8, it does wail quite nicely when poked….and burbles rather sweetly when you use the paddle shifters around town.


Back to the battery for a moment.   It can attain a full charge in only 2 ½  hours.

And if you’re so inclined, you can go up to 15 miles in all-electric mode as long as you keep it under 75 MPH.    But how anyone could drive this vehicle for 15 miles without poking the throttle a little harder is beyond me.


Once inside, two are surrounded with all the luxury you’d expect in a six-figure vehicle….and there’s the possibility of squeezing a small live human being in the rear two seats, but it’ll be a whole lot easier if those in the front seat are well under six feet.    The only thing that might be missing?   An AM radio….but that, too, might be a look into the future.   Perhaps that’s what podcasting is for.


A side benefit of owning a vehicle like this is the exercise you’ll get.    Not just getting in and out of its’ low-slung body, but also from walking from the far end of the parking lot…..‘cause who would ever subject a work of art like this to common parking lot dings?


In the coming years we’ll see more and more Supercars like BMW’s i8….vehicles that offer extreme performance plus economy.  But for now, there’s less than 400 of these i8s in the entire country.    If you consider yourself “ahead of the curve”….and can afford the just under 150K entry fee, BMW’s i8 just might be a perfect choice.

dscn0161 Auto Nsider Review: 2017 BMW i8

(Bob Jackson – CBS Local)

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