The wait is over: the brilliant new BMW i8 is finally on sale, and Elms Cambridge is one of the select BMW dealerships where you can buy this brilliant plug-in hybrid sports car.
This ground-breaking car defies convention with its three-cylinder petrol engine and eDrive technology. The performance and economy figures the i8 achieves are quite staggering. Can you think of another sports car with a 155mph top speed that returns 135mpg and emits just 49g/km of carbon dioxide?
It’s no surprise that demand for the £94,845 i8 comfortably outstrips supply, with the first year’s allocation already sold. Our advice is to order your i8 saloon before the wait grows any longer.
You won’t regret it. That’s not just our opinion, the motoring press has also given the BMW i8 a positive reception.
Writing for Evo, Jethro Bovingdon was impressed by the i8’s combination of whisper-quiet cruising, pin-sharp steering and vivid acceleration: “Cruising at 55mph in near-silence in eDrive mode is fantastic, thanks to the airy cabin, the terrific view ahead, the tangible sense of chassis rigidity, the light, accurate steering and the easy and instant performance even without the petrol engine sparking into life.
“Surprisingly the electric steering seems to have some genuine feedback, while body control is excellent and the impression of lightness continues even to the very limits of grip,” Jethro added. Evo scored the car four stars out of five.
Ben Pulman of Car also awarded the i8 four stars: “On paper the i8 will best a Porsche 911 to 62mph. And yet with the electric motor forming part of a plug-in hybrid system, official consumption and emissions figures are 135mpg and 49g/km CO2.
“Thumb the eDrive button and you’re rolling along using only the electric motor’s power, meaning you’re in a front-wheel drive BMW sports car. The sound of silence is blissful though, and without an engine to interfere you’ve got more time to judge the rest of the i8 […] the aluminium and carbonfibre chassis is pretty rigid, and the ride is surprisingly firm. Don’t forget, this is supposed to be a sports car.
“Body control is very good, and the i8 feels lithe and agile because so much of the weight is contained within the wheelbase.”
The Auto Express road test team are even more enthusiastic, giving the i8 a five-star review. “The BMW i8 is a revolutionary plug-in supercar with incredible performance and economy.
“Once you stick it in Sport mode you get the engine running all the time, with the full output from the motor and engine along with firmer settings for the dampers and more aggressive power steering. Flooring the throttle in this mode gives you a smooth surge of acceleration, accompanied by a whine from the electric motor and a deep, throaty growl from the three-cylinder engine – we never imagined it could sound so good.”
In his first drive review of the i8, Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe awarded a four-and-a-half star score. He described it as “a car that has more depth and range to its dynamic abilities than almost any other car in history.”
Like other road testers, Steve noted how the i8 could be a sports car one minute and a near-silent express the next. “Press the right buttons, select the correct modes within its numerous dynamic menus and it is, quite simply, a sharp, fast and highly engaging sports car to drive. One that’s as quick as it is composed, sounds like the real deal, steers like the real deal, stops and handles like the real deal and just is, in conventional sports car terms, the real deal.
“And yet on the other side of the coin – or on the other side of the gear lever, to be accurate – the i8 has an entire ocean of altogether different tricks up its sleeve. Literally at the press of a button, it can be transformed from snarling, incisive sports car into a chilled, relaxing, smooth riding, near effortless cruising machine.”