About the BMW I8
The Bmw i8 hire looks amazingly radical. Minimal-drag shape-work for efficiency is artfully combined with flourishes of crowd-pleasing flamboyance.
The powertrain and structure are just as unorthodox and brave as the styling. A small mid-mounted 231bhp petrol engine drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox, while a biggish 143bhp electric motor drives the front wheels.
That allows three distinct sorts of propulsion. In sports mode you’ve got AWD sports-car driving with performance to roughly match BMW’s own M4. Hybrid mode is peaceful and ultra-efficient. Or it can travel purely electrically up to 75mph, using the plug-in battery reserve.
The car can finesse its drive strategy to use the minimum energy – whether that energy comes from petrol or electricity.
Low drag is one part of that, and so’s minimal rolling resistance – look at those tyres. Another is light weight. The Coupe is 1,535kg. Even the Roadster is under 1,600kg, which is less than a 911 when outfitted with 4WD, autobox and electric roof. How did they do that? By using a tub of carbon-fibre with aluminium subframes and lightweight exterior panels.
But it was such a moonshot when new that its engineers sensibly exercised a certain amount of caution. With the benefit of experience, they have juiced up the battery (it holds 70 per cent more than before) and the main traction motor too. Gainers are electric range and hybrid performance and fuel-efficiency. It should now do a realistic 20-25 miles of electric range, and the official CO2 numbers are as low as 42g/km for the Coupe.
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- Free 100 Miles Per Day
- Comprehensive Insurance
- Sat Navigation
- Free Delivery & Collection
- Congestion Charge
- Damage Waiver
- Driving Outside of the UK
- Age: 28+
- Driving Licence
- Utility Bill
- National Insurance Number
- Debit or Credit Card on Hirer’s Name.