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The 2015 BMW i8 looks like an automotive artifact from the future (pictures)

The i8 not only is futuristic under the skin, with three motors at its disposal, it looks like a vehicle from tomorrow on the outside.

Tim_Stevens.jpg
Tim_Stevens.jpg

Tim Stevens

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2015 BMW i8
1 of 29 Tim Stevens/CNET

2015 BMW i8

This is it, the 2015 BMW i8, finally on the road.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

From certain angles, the car looks decidedly plain.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

From others, the dramatic shapes at the rear of the car are readily apparent.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

The swooping shape of the rear offers this car a remarkable .26 coefficient of drag.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

Tires are large, but unfortunately skinny.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

If the styling of the body isn't dynamic enough for you, the multi-tone paint certainly will be.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

Doors open upward and outward dramatically, and the rear hatch opens as well.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

Skinny tires up front definitely compromise handling.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

It's a hatch, technically, and yes it is hot.

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2015 BMW i8

There's a tiny trunk back there. The 1.5-liter engine is under that bit of fabric.

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2015 BMW i8

Hood vent on the front allows air to flow out through the front radiators.

2015 BMW i8
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2015 BMW i8

There are also vents around the rear glass, extra cooling for the rear engine.

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2015 BMW i8

Vents in the front grille close at high-speed to enhance aerodynamics.

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2015 BMW i8

Seats are low, and getting in over that wide door sill is a bit of a challenge.

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2015 BMW i8

The engine is under there if you dig for it, but it's not easily accessible, and not really intended to be opened by owners.

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2015 BMW i8

Yes, there are rear seats. No, we wouldn't recommend trying them out.

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2015 BMW i8

Steering wheel is nicely shaped and comfortable, with buttons easily accessible by the thumbs for radio tuning and cruise control.

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2015 BMW i8

BMWs ubiquitous iDrive is here and makes an easy controller through the infotainment system.

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2015 BMW i8

Dash design is simple and clean.

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2015 BMW i8

The primary interface is this panel, that sits on the dash like a tablet -- but don't try to remove it.

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2015 BMW i8

The interface is familiar BMW, much like found on the i3.

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2015 BMW i8

This is the dashboard in default mode. All virtual dials.

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2015 BMW i8

Hop into Sport mode and things get a bit more racy, with a proper tachometer.

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2015 BMW i8

A full 360-degree camera is on offer.

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2015 BMW i8

BMW's standard shifter is used here, rather than the funky one found on the i3.

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2015 BMW i8

Buttons for toggling drive modes and the like.

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2015 BMW i8

This is about all the room you have for storage in the cabin, two little compartments. Here's the first.

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2015 BMW i8

And here's the second compartment. Yes, that's a picture of a BlackBerry in there.

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2015 BMW i8

Much of the i8's structure is made of carbon fiber, which is raw and exposed in many areas.

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