Rarely does a vehicle come along that is so refreshing, so surprising, that a quick walk around and test drive makes you wonder if you are actually looking at the future of the automobile. The 2014 BMW i8, with it’s amazingly efficient hybrid drivetrain, does just that, even for a couple of guys who get to look at the latest and greatest in the industry all the time.
Powered by a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder engine and electric motor duo, the i8 produces 357 hp and accelerates from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 12.4 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 155 mph. The tight as a piano wire suspension and ultra-precise steering combine with one of the most amazing interiors you can imagine, including an instrument panel that feels like it was copied from a space ship in a time travel movie, to give the driver and up to three passengers the feeling that you somehow crawled inside the swan-wing door and were sent 25 years into the future.
The i8 has an electric-only range of 22 miles, which means that the dual nature of the BMW i8 provides tangible evidence that the future of the automobile will be lightening quick and handle well, but simultaneously please environmentalists looking to save natural resources and conserve fossil fuels.
My short spin in the i8 was enough for me to know that BMW has taken a brave step in the fight to remain the “ultimate driving machine.” And I want to applaud the manufacturer for creating an amazing vehicle, a car that instantly reminded me of my all-time favorite Bimmer, the 1980 M1, and simultaneously sent my mind racing towards the hopes and dreams of 2050.