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      03-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #1
Jason
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Thumbs up BMW i8 Praised in CAR Magazine Test Drive Review

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BMW i8 Earns High Praise in CAR Magazine Review
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CAR has posted its effusive full BMW i8 [news/features] test drive review, which resulted in a full 5-star rating for overall rating, handling, performance usability and "feelgood factory."

Here are some of the most telling excerpts from the review:

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Play it right, and Eco Pro can extend the range over the regular Comfort mode, from 310 to 370 miles. Flick the gear selector left, to engage Sport mode. The dials switch to a bright red glow, any throttle resistance is replaced by eagerness. The six-speed automatic – already responsive in Eco Pro mode – shifts like lightning in Sport.

There may be a tiny turbocharged three with a balancer shaft behind you, but the petrol engine now snarls as you demand more from the i8. The three-cylinder is redlined at 6500rpm, but it’s no lightweight: it could power the coupe to its 155mph limited top speed without any electric assistance. That said, it needs revs to deliver significant slugs of torque, which is where the e-motor comes in. Its instant grunt fills the low-down gaps in the turbocharged petrol’s torque curve, ensuring relentless acceleration. It’s so continuous, you’d think the i8 has a rapid dual-clutch ’box. Indeed the petrol unit spins so eagerly to the limiter in Sport, that only the quickest fingers can keep up when you’re self-shifting.

The i8’s drivetrain combines the punch of a big-block V8 and the smoothness of a straight six. It can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.4sec, which is only one-tenth slower than the 911 Carrera S PDK. And the mid-engined i8 is said to have the edge over its M4 stablemate when it comes to 50-75mph acceleration. All the while the i8 delivers the goods without ruffling your feathers.

The i8 permits its driver to partly or fully deactivate stability control. This opens up a whole new dynamic experience, where this plug-in hybrid morphs into a flagship M8. On the attack, the car will deliver whiplash-style torque boosts as if a magic wand was briefly doubling the wattage. Through corners, you can step back on the gas unusually early, open the steering up right after the apex and summon enough lift-off oversteer to put a broad smile on your face. Zig-zagging through those fast esses requires no more than a flick and a counter-flick at the light helm, and the fifth-gear arc at the end of the long straight encourages the car to fade in and out of a subtle four-wheel drift: wonderful. And at the three or four points where you need the brakes big-time, the transition from energy recuperation to deceleration to ABS intervention is absolutely seamless in effort and response.

Although the batteries are almost depleted, we try one last full throttle acceleration manoeuvre, this time with DTC on for just a little bit of slip. The sticky though relatively narrow Bridgestones (195/50 and 215/40) shriek briefly as the car takes off in jump-start fashion, first pulling then pushing, the back chasing the front, relentlessly gaining momentum. Somehow, this feels like riding an accordion as it extends and contracts. And in the background, the tyres intermittently wail, the e-motor hisses, the petrol engine growls, and the computerised brain orchestrates the antics. No, this is definitely not your old man’s BMW.

So where does the i8 fit into the world? It’s not in the same league as those hybrid hypercars, the McLaren P1, La Ferrari and Porsche 918 Spyder. But they pack at least 500bhp more and five extra cylinders, inflated price tags and low production runs. With an annual output of 5000 cars, the i8 won’t be such a rare, shooting star. It’ll offer something different to the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, and appeal to tech-lovers who might not otherwise buy a self-centred sports car.

Innovative, pace-setting, radically different, the i8 is remarkable. In its performance and handling, it feels every inch a typical BMW, despite using technology – carbonfibre, electrification – well outside the company’s comfort zone. It takes something special to hit the bull’s eye in two contrasting areas. But the i8’s green footprint is every bit as impressive as the black tyre tracks the enthusiast driver can also leave behind.


Full review at CAR.

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      03-27-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
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The article in the paper magazine and ipad is better formatted and has pictures not in the article on their site. Glad to see ANY press on the i8.
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      03-27-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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Finally. I've tried to get that article from CAR since the magazine came out last month. Now it's here. Good. Thank you for sharing!!
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      03-27-2014, 05:32 PM   #4
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      03-27-2014, 05:35 PM   #5
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That's a glowing review! Well done.
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      03-27-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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It needs to be reasonably price competitive against the tesla.
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      03-27-2014, 05:58 PM   #7
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Well Done BMW.

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      03-27-2014, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue12 View Post
It needs to be reasonably price competitive against the tesla.
Why even consider comparing it to the Tesla? They're totally different vehicles, set for different markets. A (albeit nice looking) 4-door sedan compared to essentially a two-door, two person sports car. To me, anyway, as different as day and night.
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      03-27-2014, 06:31 PM   #9
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The i8 is made for someone who wants an electric car with a sporty looks.

Who would ever prefer the BMW over an Jaguar F Type, or an 911?
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      03-27-2014, 06:49 PM   #10
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Not a big fan of the lines of the i8.
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      03-27-2014, 07:07 PM   #11
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Not a bad review at all. I do like the fact that it's got skinny tires. Should be a hoot to slide around.
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      03-27-2014, 07:26 PM   #12
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they should have made the i8 with 550-600 HP with combined engine and electric motor. At least then it would have been taken way more seriously. Like an M4 engine and the electric motor would have been WOW and also still pretty relatively fuel efficient
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      03-27-2014, 07:35 PM   #13
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Very promising on a textbook exercise. If this is a start of what BMW can do, when the i8's tech gets passed down to it's volume models it's going to be very exciting.
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      03-27-2014, 07:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo88 View Post
The i8 is made for someone who wants an electric car with a sporty looks.

Who would ever prefer the BMW over an Jaguar F Type, or an 911?
I would. Over either of those cars.

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      03-27-2014, 07:59 PM   #15
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Enough with this "foolgood" factor BS.

If it is truly an alternative to a R8 or 911, then prove it. Put it in a true comparo based on technical data/performance numbers, against other sports cars and see how it stacks up.

Oh and it isn't an electric car, it is a hybrid.
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      03-27-2014, 08:16 PM   #16
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Enough with this "foolgood" factor BS.

If it is truly an alternative to a R8 or 911, then prove it. Put it in a true comparo based on technical data/performance numbers, against other sports cars and see how it stacks up.

Oh and it isn't an electric car, it is a hybrid.
I am willing to bet there will be just such magazine articles / comparos by the end of this year. Magazines love this kind of stuff.

I mean, if Motortrend pitted an X6M vs a Panamera Turbo S vs a CTS-V Wagon, then I don't see R8 vs i8 vs 911 as outside the realm of possibility...
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      03-27-2014, 09:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Why even consider comparing it to the Tesla? They're totally different vehicles, set for different markets. A (albeit nice looking) 4-door sedan compared to essentially a two-door, two person sports car. To me, anyway, as different as day and night.
Mainly cause i'd consider it if its less than 100k, but more than that ehhh
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      03-27-2014, 09:09 PM   #18
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      03-27-2014, 09:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipit_
Enough with this "foolgood" factor BS.

If it is truly an alternative to a R8 or 911, then prove it. Put it in a true comparo based on technical data/performance numbers, against other sports cars and see how it stacks up.

Oh and it isn't an electric car, it is a hybrid.
It's a first drive.... The car isn't even out yet. There are going to be plenty of reviews comparing this to other cars.
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      03-27-2014, 09:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue12
It needs to be reasonably price competitive against the tesla.
Not even close to Tesla.

The Tesla was born electric, the i8 was born a hybrid.


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      03-27-2014, 09:13 PM   #21
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      03-27-2014, 09:55 PM   #22
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I for one applaud BMW for doing something different and time will tell if it is a viable concept. I prefer this over the other alternatives mentioned here...excited to get one, deliveries cannot start early enough for me.....I want to drive it ASAP.
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