Dinoasurs like me who have an affinity for muscular cars powered soley by our long deceased dinosaur cousins will have to get used to the fact that the sports cars of the future are going to be driven at least partially by electrons.  Of course, those electrons are still produced by our long deceased dinosaur cousins.  But I digress…

Now BMW has unveiled it’s new plug-in hybrid sports coupe for 2015, the i8.  Gone are the days when a BMW’s model number would tell you the specifics about the car – engine displacement, body style, etc. – apparently this one was named after an Interstate Highway?  No matter.  Autoblog gives us a complete and thorough road test of the $130,000 plus coupe which is powered by a 129 horsepower 96 Kw electric motor up front and a 231 horsepower turbocharged 1.5 liter 3 cylinder gasoline engine in the rear.  My guess is they took the venerable 3 liter six and lopped it in half.  A computer decides whether you get gas powered rear wheel drive or electric powered front wheel drive (or a combination of both) based on settings chosen by the driver and the heaviness of the driver’s right foot.  The tandem power plants deliver a combined 362 horsepower and 420 pounds feet of torque which will propel the i8 from 0-60 in a non-hybrid like 4.3 seconds.  This is due in large part to the coupe’s miniscule curb weight of 3,285 lbs. which translates into a horsepower to weight ratio of a shade more that 220 hp/ton.  Not bad.  And looks – wow!  Like a concept car.  I keep asking where are the flying cars that futurists of the sixties promised us – this one doesn’t fly, but looks like it could (or should).






Impressive design, impressive engineering and impressive performance.  I would expect no less from BMW.  However… as deep as it is in design, engineering and performance, it comes up short in convenience and practicality.  There are no cupholders for the occupants of the front seats (!) and with an engine in the front and the back, there is no trunk for your junk.  BMW has yet to release economy figures.  $130K + seems like a stretch unless you’re just trying to out status the neighbors.  I still think for the money I’d have an Audi R-8.  Screw the environment.


Cross posted at the blog: Men Out Of Work