The i8 has three different power sources.

Read full review
Photo by: Drew Stearne
Editors' Rating

MSRP: $136,510.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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.

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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.

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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.

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

That's how serious BMW is about weight reduction.

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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.)

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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.

Photo by: Drew Stearne

It does look good from behind...

Photo by: Drew Stearne

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

Photo by: Drew Stearne

It's the beginning of something big.

Photo by: Drew Stearne
Latest Galleries

CNET ON CARS

Want to see the future of car technology?

Brian Cooley found it for you at CES 2017 in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Latest From Roadshow