BMW 2019 i8 review: Driving yesterday’s car of tomorrow, today
Even with its flaws, the BMW i8 is a pleasure to drive. It attracts attention as it follows the road. Few vehicles can reach this level of exhilaration without speed, so it’s exhilarating. Although it is swift, it won’t break any speed records or establish quarter-mile marks. Driving just feels wonderful.
According to the calculations, purchasing a $164,000 BMW i8 Roadster seems unnecessary. Need speed? Purchase a Nissan GT-R for $112K, a Corvette ZR1 for $123K, or a Porsche 911 Turbo for $161K. Aesthetics of supercars? Spend $157K and get an Acura NSX. Want everything to be electric? Purchase a Tesla Model S. All are more affordable and quicker than the BMW i8.
In the history of BMW, the i8 is only a stepping stone. An anomaly. It’s a special model that lets you test out cutting-edge technologies. I believe BMW never promoted the i8 as a best-seller or the market leader. It was a playground for engineers. My favourite.
In 2014, when the automobile industry was in a different state, BMW unveiled the first i8. Tesla had only the Model S in its portfolio and was just starting off. The second-generation Chevy Volt was a project for GM. The solution seemed to be hybrid powertrains, and BMW adopted this strategy with the dual-power in the i8.
In 2015, I travelled through the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park in the just introduced i8 from Vegas to Los Angeles. It was a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the i8, and since the model is about to be discontinued, I wanted to drive it one more.
I had an i8 tester this time for a week. In this $164,000 droptop, I drove my kids to school, went grocery shopping, and lived my best life with the top down when it wasn’t raining.
It’s a beautiful automobile that stands out from the competition in its pricing bracket. When I was driving the i8 along the Las Vegas strip a few years ago, I made a note of this. The i8 is gorgeous and usually attracts attention. There isn’t a vehicle that, in my opinion, attracts greater attention.
The sheet metal flows as if it were fashioned by a skilled glassblower. It is lovely. The beginning is forceful and straightforward. Precision-cut sides flow into a rear end with some of the most distinctive tail lights on the market. The exhaust, which is a hybrid, emerges via a metal grate behind the back window.
But be careful not to let its quick appearance overstate its powers. The i8 is not as quick as it seems to be.
It’s not a quarter-mile racer, the i8. A grand tourer in its core, this vehicle is a hybrid sports car. This is not a vehicle you should drive on a drag strip, but it may be entertaining during a track day. It is a sculptor. It can hug the road thanks to its low centre of gravity. It flows smoothly around corners.
When driving, the i8 is simple to adore. The hybrid powertrain is drama-free and smooth. Then accelerate. Sport setting on the gearbox makes it snappy but not fast. And I don’t mind at all.
BMW did a good job with the i8’s interior. The i8 is a pleasant and useful two-seat exotic as long as the driver doesn’t need to tote golf equipment. The scissor doors open easily and provide sufficient space for getting in and out of the vehicle. The chairs are cosy and supportive. The most recent infotainment system from BMW, which is among the finest available on the market, is included in this 2019 model. The Roadster model, which forgoes the rear seats in favour of the droptop storage, has a relatively limited amount of storage space. Only four six-packs can fit in the trunk.
When I test drove the i8 in 2015, I said that a person should wait to purchase this vehicle until they had their Porsche 911. That still holds true. Although the i8 is simple to like, there are alternative cars that provide greater thrills and usefulness.
The i8 is simple. Pushing the engine should not be a concern for drivers. It won’t bite, but in sport mode, it will be really exciting. Other cars in this price range need more expertise than the i8 does. Look at the i8 if a Porsche 911 Turbo or Corvette ZR-1 is too much vehicle. Or the Audi R8, another sports vehicle I enjoyed driving.
After a week of daily use, the i8’s performance became less important than the whole experience. The i8 doesn’t need extreme speed to be fun, in my opinion.
The BMW i8 was hailed as the future-ready automobile of today in 2014. And it was in some ways. One of the first mass-produced cars to combine an electric drivetrain with a gas engine for performance was the BMW i8. Since then, almost all exotic car manufacturers have adopted variant versions of the same practise.
Even now, the i8 still has the distinct impression of being a unique kind of car. Greenness is felt. It feels wholesome. But ultimately, there are quicker, more advanced cars that just use electric motors, while the i8 still depends on a polluting internal combustion engine.
BMW is said to be developing an all-electric sports vehicle rather than a straight replacement for the i8. Eventually. And everything would alter as a result. A BMW coupe might provide impressive speed while being more environmentally responsible if it used just electric engines. A all electric i8 may alter the game and be a true speed demon.
The 2019 i8 is a beautiful car with a simple engine and outstanding appearance that might provide real delight to the appropriate driver.