Is the BMW i8 today’s closest Bat Mobile contender?

          Now that would good with some of our model-specific number plates

BMW’s plug-in hybrid couldn’t be further away from the boxy ‘city’ styling of the i3…

What can we say about the magnificent BMW i8 that doesn’t make it sound like a Prius in a hot dress? Well, for starters it’s got laser headlights. And, quite obviously, it’s even filthier looking than the Audi R8.

The second in the ‘i’ series, the slender i8, couldn’t be further away from the Smart Car style of the BMW i3. If you thought the Audi A2 and the old Mercedes A-class lacked sporting credentials compared to what Audi and Merc usually churn out, then skim over the i3. Cute, functional, but exhibiting nothing of that classic BMW styling.

With gullwing doors, killer curves and a total height that would barely skim Jeremy Clarkson’s knees, unlike the other ‘i’, the i8 has the wow factor for all the right reasons.

It’s also way more than a pretty face (or even a weak attempt at a conceptual hybrid) with all those cool features actually serving a genuine purpose. For example, laser-technology headlines are actually brighter and more energy efficient than their LED counterparts, making this some of the coolest sounding green tech we’ve come across.

‘Hybrid’ is very much the word with a 1.5 litre turbo engine driving the back wheels and a 129bhp motor driving the front. AutoExpress compare the acceleration to a hot hatch, which, unless you’re into your track days, is enough for British roads. A choice of modes will also let the eco-conscious driver go just on electric alone, although chances are that’ll only cut it for nipping out.

But where belly-tickling acceleration lacks, weight prevails, with a carbon fibre reinforced plastic body and aluminium chassis keeping the i8 relatively lightweight.

The tax is much more in the lower hot hatch category too, making this a sensible choice for the budgeting super can fan. Yes we know ‘budgeting’ and ‘supercar’ have never been included in the same sentence before.

You also get a government grant when purchasing the i8! Luckily for BMW that 5K grant brings the £100,000 car down slightly – making it very much in the barrister/drug lord territory, as opposed to solely in the boxer/footballer territory.


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