2015 BMW i8 review

Hearing the expression “high-performance plug-in hybrid” would commonly make about as a lot of sense as “jumbo shrimp” or “rational and selfless politician.” However, the 2015 BMW i8 lends unquestionable credibility to that seeming oxymoron. Driving it in its Comfort and Eco Pro modes, I could have parked and forgotten all about it, however after moving the shifter to Sports mode nothing wanting violence was going to get me out of the i8. It displays two very distinct character: energy-obsessed engineer and troubled youth. In a position to dash to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and hit a high speed of 155 mph, this exotic, environmentally acutely aware sports activities machine additionally boasts a 76 MPGe EPA fuel economy rating. If driving this car goes green, then think about us card-carrying members of the tree-hugger’s club.

Hitting production alongside the more inexpensive and mundane i3, the i8 represents BMW’s radical rethinking of private transportation in light of climate change issues and shrinking fossil fuel supplies. The i8 looks as if a first effort by BMW to deliver in new century efficiency but maintain its performance legacy, and it’ll cost you dearly.

The 2015 BMW i8 isn’t your average plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Its lithium-ion battery pack can restore in as little as 1.5 hours, and the car can rocket from 0 to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and reach a top pace of 155mph. The interior uses recycled materials and naturally treated leather, and it’s simply one of the sexiest-looking production automobiles available. Whereas the i8’s scissor-lift-style doors are cool, additionally they make it difficult to get out and in, and the tiny rear seats are wider for storage than passengers. Still, for a car that appears this good and will get this quick, these are minor quibbles. The 2015 BMW i8 is a world-class hybrid sports car well worthy of our Editors’ Choice.

BMW i8 Photos Gallery

BMW i8 Pricing

The 2015 BMW i8$150,095.00 at TrueCar is obtainable in one trim level at a base price of $136,500.

BMW i8 Power back and front

Beyond its concept-car seems, the i8 makes use of a completely unique drivetrain, bearing no resemblance to even BMW’s own hybrid autos. Tucked away somewhere within the car is a turbocharged 1.5-liter with the three-cylinder engine using BMW’s valve timing and throttle control technologies to generate 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, driving the rear wheels by a six-speed automated transmission. That engine, a variant of that found within the 2015 Mini Cooper, will get a little guidance from the 11-horsepower starter motor, smoothing over turbo lag.

BMW i8 Connectivity, Navigation, and Interface

The i8 also takes a hybrid strategy to connectivity, like all BMWs. Several features can be found via the car’s onboard SIM card, such as a Net browser and connected search, whereas apps for streaming music and other services are delivered via the BMW Apps platform and a connected smartphone. These specialty all fall under the ConnectedDrive platform, but services such as BMW On-line (along with the BMW Assist telematics system) require a subscription after an initial trial period. Each work properly, although the embedded 3G modem was, in fact, slower than our connected 4G smartphone.

BMW i8 Interior/ Exterior Design and Special Features

It comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder, 228-horsepower gasoline engine paired with a 129-horespower electric motor, for a sum of 357 horsepower. The gas engine drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automated transmission whereas the electrical motor powers the front wheels via a two-speed automatic. The car additionally has an onboard a 7.1kW lithium-ion battery pack.

Any low, sleek, fast sports car attracts notice, however, the 2015 BMW i8 appears to take that rule to a new level, even by the jaded standards of Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Maybe it’s the classic coupe shape form–a low, fastback profile–amplified by the swing-up doors, that are hinged from the windshield pillar and known in German as flugeltur, or “wing doors.” And certainly, with its doors, front hood, and rear decklid open, the i8 even takes on an uncertainty raptor shape, as if it’s about to swoop down and pounce.

As soon as inside the i8, you may find a multi-tiered and layered cockpit design that makes use of recycled materials and naturally handled leather-based for upholstery and panel surfaces. The power seats provide good support and long-distance comfort, and even taller drivers may have headroom to spare. The center stack is canted towards the driver, placing all the things close at hand.

However, the shape is one thing; BMW’s new design elements for its family of “i” plug-in vehicles are something else completely. First you see the bright blue accents highlighting the twin-kidney grille openings, the arched aero element of the door sill, and the rear bumper pattern shape. Then the groove between upper and lower bodywork becomes apparent, with the waistline of the car tidy back across the tops of the rear fenders and a pair of narrow fins trailing all the way from the car roof rail to the back edges of the decklid extending over them to form an open tunnel on each side as the top of half of the car narrows to the rear.

Despite the “2+2” moniker, that is essentially a two-seater, as those rear seats are little with limited headroom, and as such are best considered auxiliary luggage space. You’ll want it, too, because the trunk is rated at a paltry 5.4 cubic feet.

BMW i8 Driving Impression

Since that is a predominantly carbon fiber car, the i8 is intensely rigid. This isn’t a relaxing ride experience, not that you just count on a car with gullwing doors and a supercar form to be a bastion of nirvana. Instead, that is a harsh ride, which I attribute to the load of the batteries, the rigidity of the construction, and harder efficiency-focused tires.

You won’t be uncomfortable in the i8, it’s a great place to spend a lot of time, however, don’t assume it to coddle you. It’s set up aggressively.

BMW i8 Performance

As a plug-in hybrid, the i8 employs a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. The gas engine drives the rear wheels by a six-speed automatic transmission whereas the electric motor powers the front wheels via a two-speed automatic. When working together, the two combine to supply 357 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque and all-wheel drive.

The technology built into the 2015 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid makes it a completely new kind of sports coupe, with just one different sports car using a similar powertrain. That’s the Porsche 918 Spyder, the supercar that also plugs in and can run on electricity, engine power, or each together. However, the Spyder comes in at almost a million dollars so that you may expect that the $140,000 BMW i8 can be a somewhat downsized version of that car–and you’d be right.

The 2015 BMW i8 isn’t as fast as most people presume, however, its all-electric means and memorable efficiency redefine the word.

The important factor to know about the i8 is that it’s more of a touring coupe than a track car. That’s to not say there won’t be higher-performance versions in the future, however at present’s i8 strikes a balance between sporty performance and high effectivity. Whereas its price aligns it with more traditional competitors–the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, say–it’s a lot completely different sort of automotive.

BMW i8 Safety

The BMW i8 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and the stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard are BMW Help emergency communications (includes automatic crash notification, stolen car recovery and on-demand roadside assistance) in addition to parking sensors and an around-car view camera system.

  • Pros
    outstanding performance for a hybrid; outstanding fuel economy for a sports car; futuristic design.
  • Cons
    Futuristic price; still can’t match the even stronger performance of equally priced non-hybrid performance cars.

BMW i8 Tech Specs

Model2015 BMW i8
Engine 1.5L Turbocharged I3 (rear), electric motor (front)
Seating 4 people (more like two people and two contortionist toddlers)
TrimGiga World
PowerFuel: 228 HP at 5,800 RPM/236 LB-FT, Electric: 129 HP/184 LB-FT, Combined: 357 HP/420 LB-FT
EPA fuel economy76 mpg equivalent/28 mpg gasoline solely average
Observed fuel economy31.8 mpg
Top Speed 155 mph
NavigationStandard with live traffic
Bluetooth phone supportStandard
Digital audio sourcesInternet-based streaming, Bluetooth streaming, iOS integration, onboard hard drive, USB drive, satellite radio, HD radio
Audio systemHarman Kardon 360-watt 11-speaker system
Driver aidsHead-up display, rear-view camera
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive (with front assist from electric motor)
Base price$135,700
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