To an exited new eight owners, BMW have handed over the keys to their all new carbon-fibre hybrid sports car the i8. The significance of this car is that it redefines the possibilities of what a sports car can be, with a combination of both raw electric power combined with a small capacity 1.5 litre petrol engine.
In many ways a spiritual successor to the 80’s 6 series and 90’s 8 series, the i8 is a car that, unlike it’s forebears, is environmentally friendly as much as it is a play thing which can be used for real world driving in many different environments.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, there is the EV only mode which allows drivers to use the car throughout city and traffic environments without emitting any emissions at the exhaust and of course will be perfectly suited to when the zero emission zones across Europe are introduced.
Secondly, there is the more practical hybrid mode which of course brings with it long range driving for those journeys when EV only mode doesn’t give the distance. Lastly, there’s the sports mode which combines power from both the electric motor and 3-cylinder 1.5 litre petrol engine giving the car accelerative power for overtaking and thrills aplenty.
The BMW i8 then, is a groundbreaking car that doesn’t fit into the traditional sports car mould that has existed for generations past. Cars of the past relied on putting large capacity engines into small cars to excite and provide thrills, BMW are showing that this is no longer the case and that technology can be used to provide an effective alternative without using up the world’s oil reserves.
Video source: BMW