The plug-in hybrid BMW i8 uses carbon fiber construction and an innovative drive system, but its looks will garner the most attention as it looks like the future.
BMW launched the car initially as part of its futuristic 'i' project, the all-electric i3 and this, the plug-in hybrid i8.
The i8 lays claim to the exotics segment with its up-opening doors.
Unfinished carbon fiber is evident in the door structure.
BMW's kidney grille remains on the i8, bookended between LED headlights.
The i8 uses a unique drivetrain, with an electric motor driving the front wheels and a small gasoline engine turning the rear wheels.
The tires are on the skinny side to lessen rolling resistance, which impacts handling.
Along with all-wheel drive, active dampers take the ride quality from comfort to sport.
Interesting aerodynamic features, such as this air channel, work themselves into the i8's body.
Somewhere in this car is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and an electric drive motor, but the manual notes that only BMW personnel should open it up.
The rear cargo area is small, with most of the space taken up by the i8's 5-kilowatt battery pack.
This J1772 port allows a full charge from a 240-volt source in just 1.5 hours.
These sport seats have a minimal structure to reduce weight, yet remain comfortable.
There is virtually no room for rear passengers.
Blue accent lights run through the cabin.
The cockpit design and controls borrow much from other BMW models.
Similar to the suspension, an electric power steering system uses different programs for comfort and sport.
The instrument cluster is an LCD panel, here showing speed and power gauges.
In Sport mode, the instrument cluster goes red, and shows a speedometer and tachometer.
The console holds the drive selector, drive-mode buttons and the iDrive controller.
The iDrive main menu screen looks similar to the screen in standard BMW models, but uses a slightly different graphic treatment.
BMW gives the i8 richly detailed navigation maps.
The Eco Pro mode is designed to be the most efficient.
BMW's music library interface carries over from other models, and is not very well designed.
The audio screens show album art when available.
Although the cabin is small, BMW fits 11 speakers in from Harman Kardon.
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