Sadly, the much-debated supercar is being laid to rest this year.
The BMW i8, a car that was hated just as much as it was loved, is being phased out of production this year. Let us reflect over the achievements and the greatness of this unique car, but also discuss exactly why some people disliked it so much.
You could write a whole book on this car. Its innovations, its quirkiness, its controversy, its styling and you could even have a whole chapter of all the awards the car won. The i8 was named Top Gear’s Car of The Year in 2014, crowned UK Car of The Year in 2015, won AutoGuide’s 2015 Reader’s Choice Green Car of the Year, UK Performance Car of the Year in 2015, Engine of The Year Award in 2016, Best Hybrid Powertrain in 2019…the list goes on!
It even won awards before it was released when it took home North American Concept Vehicle of the Year in 2012 and Best Production Preview Vehicle Award in 2013.
It’s fair to say the BMW i8 has been recognised in the motoring industry for its excellent hybrid powertrain, gorgeous and unique styling and for just how much of a well-rounded car it was.
That being said, the i8 received its fair share of criticisms as well. Even though it looked good enough to be a supercar, with its butterfly doors, exposed carbon fibre and exaggerated styling, the performance was often described as underwhelming.
Only ever available with a measly 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine, the car lacked the ‘heart’ of a ‘real’ supercar, as many would put it. The small engine was mated with electric motors and a battery and together, they produce around 357 hp or up to 369 hp in the updated models released from 2018 onwards. Still, 369 hp doesn’t sound much like a figure belonging to a ‘supercar’ now, does it?
To add fuel to the fire, there was the fake exhaust note, the disappointing performance and a huge price tag as the cherry on top. The i8 is easy to pick on.
However, people forget one important thing about the BMW i8. It isn’t a supercar! It’s just an overpriced sports car!
Sure, it takes 4.4 seconds (on a good day) to go from 0-62 mph in the i8 and sure, it’s slower than a Civic Type R around Nurburgring and it makes fake engine sounds but it’s still an icon and there’s nothing you can do to change that.
The i8 and the i3 are the first to arrive to the BMW ‘i’ party and have paved the way for electric technology, as well as sustainable uses of materials and of course, let’s not forget about that exposed carbon!
The i8 had near-perfect weight distribution, a very low centre of gravity, exceptionally snappy transmission and the best mile per gallon rating of any sports car of its kind. The i8 will be turning heads for the rest of time and will continue to make owners look cool as they exit the car until the Earth itself stops rotating.
Sadly, we’ll have to kiss the futuristic and polarising i8 goodbye as production ceases this April and if you still want to buy a new one, you’ll have to place your order by the end of February.
No need to be too sad though, as rumours are spreading that a successor is on its way, with BMW working hard behind the scenes on a new sports car. Whether it’s electric or not is yet to be discovered.
Let’s take a moment to remember one of the most interesting cars of the decade.
Do you think the i8 successor can be as cool as the original?
If you enjoyed this, you should read “The BMW i3 only has 2 downfalls, the rest is amazing!”.
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