A 227-bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a 129-bhp electric motor and a smaller electric unit used as a starter motor.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

They all work differently depending on whether you're driving in Eco Pro, Comfort or Sport mode.

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Eco Pro, unsurprisingly, keeps things as EV and eco as possible.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

Comfort is the most "normal" mode -- the i8 acts as a hybrid. Albeit ,one that goes like the clappers if you put your foot down.

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Sport mode is the i8's party piece -- all the motors work together and use the car's full 357 bhp and 420 lb. ft.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

Because the i8 is comparatively light for supercar, all that power feels pretty good.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

Zero to 62mph takes 4.4 seconds, and it'll hit a limited 155mph.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

The i8 is faster to 62mph than some 991 Series Porsche 911s.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

But it'll also manage 135mpg (UK). You don't get that in a 911.

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Apparently, the i8's all-electric range is over 20 miles. The best we got was 15, but we weren't driving it "normally".

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

The i8 has something called LifeDrive, two components key to the car.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

The Life portion is the carbon fibre tub -- it's the bit the passengers sit in.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

Drive is an aluminum unit that holds the bits that can go bang.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

Much like the i3, the i8's carbon fibre bits are on display.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

As designs go, the i8 is pretty striking. While we were filming it, passers by constantly accosted us to ask whether it was a concept car.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

It's remarkably similar to the Vision Concept Efficient Dynamics from 2009.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

Though, sadly, the doors aren't see-through.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

2012 saw BMW release an i8 convertible concept. How cool would that be?

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The doors are a high point -- they do add some extra drama to the car. Not that much more was needed...

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

When the car was being designed, the scribblers wanted to add an extra 10mm to the car's nose.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

But it wasn't that easy. The chief engineer wanted the designers to justify adding not only 10mm, but 200g to the car.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

That's how serious BMW is about weight reduction.

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The interior isn't as eco as the i3's, though in a near-£100,000 car that's probably a good thing. (Converted, that's about $170,000, or AU$180,000.)

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

It looks a little like the M1 supercar from the 70s.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

The blue streaks round the blacked-out kidney grille are BMW i hallmarks.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

BMW used two sheets of tempered glass sandwiching as an acoustic damping panel to keep engine noise out of the cabin. It's lighter than regular glass.

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It does look good from behind...

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Photo by: Drew Stearne / Caption by:

The i8 is the first "sensible" hybrid supercar. It's the first of its kind and it's already pretty good.

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It's the beginning of something big.

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