A night with the i8

  • Sep 29, 2015
Websters Dictionary states that a DATE is a social or romantic appointment or engagement. A date night for many is some food for the belly accompanied by an intense conversation. For some a date is being in the presence of someone truly special and unlike any other in the world. A few think a date should be with someone super-hot, walking with who makes every single head turn.
For some their date has to be intelligent, smart, sophisticated

[caption id="attachment_17950" align="alignnone" width="1024"]BMW i8 BMW i8[/caption]

I went on a very special date one night. A date that ticked every single box mentioned above. Because that was the night I went on a date with the BMW i8.


Video Review of BMW i8

Is it super-hot?
The BMW i8 sure. The front is usual BMW with a long nose and the sharp lamps. More than the design, it’s the actual brilliance that needs a mention in this. The passenger cell and doors are made of resin-injected carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. This makes the body super light and which in turn makes the i8 superfast. The doors open up and can stop crowds and traffic once they do.

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The car is low and getting in and out is a task. The i8 weighs at just 1560 kilos.
The i8 is very close to the concept showcased by BMW. The rear of the car with the spoiler cut out and the beautiful lamps is just drop dead gorgeous. It’s nothing like anything on the road and despite it carrying the “i” tag on the rear, it is like a Supercar.
Is it intelligent?
Certainly it is. The cabin comes with the very familiar BMW layout. The 8.8 inch screen is fixed on top of the dash and displays every single detail of the car. There is information about battery levels and brake regeneration on the display too. To add to the futuristic design of the i8, we would have loved to have a screen that pops out and goes back into the dash just for the extra attractiveness. The i-drive control is placed on the gear panel.

[caption id="attachment_17964" align="alignnone" width="1024"]BMW i8 interior BMW i8 interior[/caption]

The driver gets a comprehensive display and the overall design is blue. However, when you switch it to the Sports mode, the dials change from blue to red.
It might be a 2+2 on paper but it isn’t really one. Falling perfectly in line with the Supercar character, there is little room for people at the back. That said, I was able to fit two adults in the back thanks to my short height.

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Will it drive you crazy?
Well, BMW has got all the engineering right with the i8. Under the hood it has a 96 KW or a 133 PS electric motor and then there is also the 1.5-litre motor with a power output of 233 PS and a torque at 320 Nm.
So yes, like any other hybrid- it starts on the electric motor and you do have to accelerate to hear the roar, which sadly ain’t the sound of a Supercar. The front wheels derive power from the electric motor and the rear from the petrol.

[caption id="attachment_17957" align="alignnone" width="1024"]BMW i8 BMW i8[/caption]

It might start on the electric mode but the i8 is as thrilling as any Supercar. The car switches modes quickly and seamlessly and the 1.5 litre unit is a lovely motor to push hard. In fact the i8 claims a 0-100km/h sprint in just 4.4 seconds but once you get behind the steering and press the accelerator, it seems much faster. The sudden rush of power is exhilarating and it is an exciting drive. The 1.5 litre engine is the same engine as you find in the Mini Cooper but in the i8 it feels much quicker.
The six-speed automatic gearbox is another genius piece of machinery. It works effortlessly and picks up the next gear without an effort or a twitch. In fact you will have to see the Driver information screen to know what gear you are moving in.

[caption id="attachment_17976" align="alignnone" width="1024"]BMW i8 BMW i8[/caption]

There are three modes in the car. The ‘edrive’ button optimises full electric mode and the car can go 37 km in total distance. Then there’s ‘EcoPro’ mode which lets the electric mode strive till 60 km/hour speed. Then the petrol motor kicks in and takes over. With regenerative braking the system continues to charge the battery while the car is decelerating. Basically, once the car brakes, the energy is fed to the battery which reduces the power taken from the engine and hence makes it more fuel efficient.

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In the comfort mode it goes upto 65 kmph without help from the petrol motor.
Lastly, there is also a Sport mode, a mode that lets you stick to your gears and both the petrol and electric motor run together. In this mode, the dials turn red and the power is pulled from the engine which feels very fast. In fact even in this mode, you do not realize that it is a tiny 1.5 litre motor doing duty. The car in a way changes character in this mode. The steering firms up and so do the dampers.
As expected, the i8 handles like a dream. In fact, it is a very typical BMW in this regard. The steering is weighed like you would expect, push the i8 around a corner and it’s happy to do so comfortably. The car feels light and there is very little body roll. It takes a corner in full confidence and keeps itself very firm on the ground. Aim the car where you want to go and it does exactly that.
A long term relationship?
The i8 is here to stay. BMW has not just made a product that is exclusive but have reinvented this segment of hybrid Supercars. It’s quick, it’s green and totally flaunt worthy.

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