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      04-17-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
Tilum
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BMW UK i8 Customer Preview Event

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I was invited by my i dealer to accompany them (along with a couple of other customers) to go and preview the i8 at BMW UK's headquarters on Wednesday.

As mentioned in a previous post, they had two i8s for us to see, sit in, and have a play with:-
1) Sophisto Grey (with iBlue accent), i W-spoke 470 wheels, and Dalbergia Tan interior (part of the 'Halo' interior package in the UK).
2) Ionic Silver (with iBlue accent), i Turbine-spoke 444 wheels, and Amido Black interior (part of the 'Carpo Dark' interior package in the UK).

Full body shots of the Sophisto Grey vehicle (more pics to follow in subsequent posts in this thread):-
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Last edited by Tilum; 04-18-2014 at 11:01 AM.
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      04-17-2014, 08:41 PM   #2
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Nice! Did you get to sit in the i8?
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      04-17-2014, 09:48 PM   #3
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Yep, they let us do what we liked with it really (except start it up or drive it LOL). I'll add loads more pics in the next day or so. The next set of pics will be external close-ups of the Sophisto Grey car, then I'll upload the internal pics.

I have to say that, overall, I was impressed with the car.
Apart from the use of ridiculously cheap plastic in a few areas (e.g. rear passenger cup holders), the trim felt more luxurious than I thought it was going to be. It's still not at Aston, Ferrari, Maserati levels of plushness, but I was bracing myself for it to be far worse than it actually was.

Similar story with the rear seats; I was expecting them to be all but useless (based on some people's comments), but I was pleasantly surprised.
With the driver's seat set in my driving position, I got in the back (to see how much leg room there would be for a passenger if they were sat behind me whilst I was driving).
Admittedly I'm only about 5ft 2" tall, but nevertheless I had quite a bit of leg room, especially considering it is only a 2+2 seater. There certainly isn't room to spread your legs, but there was a good few inches between the back of the seat and my knees. (Hopefully you'll be able to see that in one of the pics I took.)
As for head room, I could sit upright in the back, just about! And although I could feel the lining of the roof on the top of my hair, my head wasn't pressing into the lining or anything.

I then asked one of the other guys who came with us (who was 6ft tall) to climb in the back and see what he thought.
Sat behind 'my' seat (the driver's seat set in my position), he also had sufficient space between the back of the front seat and his knees.
Unsurprisingly, he did struggle with headroom. So he had to tilt his head to one side; but it would be bearable for short distances (e.g. a drive to a local restaurant).

The door sills are cheap plastic, but having said that, it means that when you get in the car you can just 'slide' over the sill to ease entry.

The rear boot (sorry, 'trunk' LOL) is really small, but then we knew that anyway. However there is definitely sufficient room to put a few (possibly up to 4) bags of grocery shopping in there.
The way I looked at it was, I was either looking for a 2 seater sports coupé with a generous boot, or a 2+2 with a moderately sized boot (and thus using the rear seats on the odd occasion I would need to take more luggage).
For example, although the Jaguar F-Type coupé is only a straight 2 seater, it has a decent sized boot (especially when compared to the convertible version!). The i8 only has a small boot, but at least I can use the rear seats for additional storage. Plus it obviously has the added benefit of being able to hold 4 people, whereas a straight 2 seater doesn't (unless someone gets in the boot! LOL).

The dash display really does looks stunning - resolution is fine (detailed but not pixelated), colours are bold, and viewing from an angle if fine.

There were a few disappointing things though:-
1) Steering wheel column adjustment had to manually performed (as opposed to electronically controlled).
2) The sun visors were of shockingly bad quality and the vanity mirrors in them didn't have any lights (for a girl to check out her make-up in the dark, without having to resort to switching on the reading light in the overhead console). N.B. I've asked them to confirm if the visors are just pre-production standard.
3) As mentioned before, the rear passengers' cup holder is made of ridiculously cheap plastic and isn't aesthetically pleasing either!
4) The backs of the rear seats are quite upright (near vertical), meaning it wouldn't be the most relaxing of journeys if you were sat in the back.
5) Anthracite headlining (which was in both of BMW UK's show cars) is a really cheap 'rough-to-the-touch' fabric. (Hence why I'm not opting to spend extra spec'ing Anthracite headlining!)
6) The steering wheel mounted paddles, as on all BMWs, are to far 'in-board', and are too short. They could do with veing longer and extended closer to the wheel rim for ease of access on spirited drives!
7) No 'Display Key' being another one of course.

T

Last edited by Tilum; 04-18-2014 at 11:09 AM.
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      04-18-2014, 10:32 AM   #4
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Close-ups of the Sophisto Grey vehicle (more pics to follow in subsequent posts in this thread):-
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Last edited by Tilum; 04-18-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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      04-18-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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Although the Amido Black interior (part of the 'Carpo Dark' interior package in the UK) was in the Ionic Silver i8 at BMW UK, I've uploaded the pics of these first as I have spec'd this interior on my Sophisto Grey i8.
Amido Black interior pics - set 1 of 2:-
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Last edited by Tilum; 04-18-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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      04-18-2014, 10:57 AM   #6
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Amido Black interior pics - set 2 of 2:-
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      04-18-2014, 01:19 PM   #7
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Great post. These are the most comprehensive photos I've seen to date and answered some of the questions I had, most notably about the space available in the rear seats.
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      04-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #8
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I love this car! Thnx for excellent photos.
Four issues:
Size -- I am 6'3 as are my three sons.
$ -- wish it was more like 80k in US. Insurance is crazy.
Availability -- can't get one for a year or so.
New M3 is super, and more practical.
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      04-18-2014, 06:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by drlonline View Post
Great post. These are the most comprehensive photos I've seen to date and answered some of the questions I had, most notably about the space available in the rear seats.
Thanks
More photos coming!.... LOL
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      04-18-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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More external pics for you all...

There's room for a briefcase or laptop bag on the rear 'parcel shelf' of the boot (trunk). However any overflow from the boot will have to go on the back seats.

The charging connector lights up different colours to indicate different charging statuses.

Tyre width, whilst skinnier than on most sports cars, will obviously help with better fuel economy. Hopefully handling doesn't suffer though; the low CoG of the car should help.

And of course, let's hope BMW are able to introduce the infamous 'Display Key' in lieu of the current standard key.
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      04-18-2014, 10:41 PM   #11
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More internal pics. These are various close-ups etc (taken from inside both cars, hence the differing interior from shot to shot.).

Headlining is the optional cost extra, 'Anthracite'. However the material is very poor/cheap.

Hopefully sun visors will be improved for final production standard cars, both in terms of quality and the introduction of lighting for the (integrated) 'Vanity Mirrors'.

Similar story with the rear passenger cup holders - PLEASE BMW, introduce something better in customer cars, this is a £100k car and customers spending this will expect better!!!

Despite the lack of storage areas in the doors (due to obvious reasons!), the internal storage, whilst not great, isn't too bad considering.
N.B. Existing BMW users will probably be familiar with the 2 storage compartments in the central tunnel, as well as the latest iDrive dial controller.

Internal ambient mood lighting is customisable e.g. customers can select their preferred colour.
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      04-19-2014, 07:21 AM   #12
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Excellent, comprehensive sets of photos. Thanks so much for taking the time to shoot all of these and post them online for us to see and review.

I agree about those read cup holders, they look like a complete afterthought and stick out like a sore thumb. Sometimes I get the feeling that some of this Eco business is a code word for using cheap materials. It is what it is. Maybe there will be some accessories available to upgrade some of these things.

Some CFRP cup holders would have matched the car and concept very nicely.

C'mon BMW!

Also I am rooting for the display key, like all of us I am sure.
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      04-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #13
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I am really impressed with the poor quality interior of this car. A vw polo has better quality plastics. Using the idrive controller from a 20k 116i on a 100k + flagship sports car would be a big no no for me. The climate control panel looks like an 80's aftermarket cd player. terrible. I would get an m5 - more power, better sound, better quality and spend the rest on an i3.
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      04-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #14
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I have decided for sure now. I'm waiting until version 2 comes out in 5 years! This car concept is great but it is missing too many features which I think are needed in a car of this price and a car with such a limited external view. Also the build will improve over time as will the features.
I'm going with a gas hog like Carac has!!!
Sorry for the result on the environment but I want only 1 car to do all I need. This first generation i8 just doesn't cut it!
Good luck to all who DO buy it.
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      04-20-2014, 12:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrests View Post
I have decided for sure now. I'm waiting until version 2 comes out in 5 years! This car concept is great but it is missing too many features which I think are needed in a car of this price and a car with such a limited external view. Also the build will improve over time as will the features.
I'm going with a gas hog like Carac has!!!
Sorry for the result on the environment but I want only 1 car to do all I need. This first generation i8 just doesn't cut it!
Good luck to all who DO buy it.
Gas hogs are going to be rarer and rarer. I think naturally aspirated, port-injected sports cars will be in high demand as time goes on. I don't fault anyone for passing on first-gen. There will be some growing pains but I'm your typical early adopter that doesn't really mind feeling like a beta tester sometimes.
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      04-20-2014, 12:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddk632 View Post
Excellent, comprehensive sets of photos. Thanks so much for taking the time to shoot all of these and post them online for us to see and review.

I agree about those read cup holders, they look like a complete afterthought and stick out like a sore thumb. Sometimes I get the feeling that some of this Eco business is a code word for using cheap materials. It is what it is. Maybe there will be some accessories available to upgrade some of these things.

Some CFRP cup holders would have matched the car and concept very nicely.

C'mon BMW!

Also I am rooting for the display key, like all of us I am sure.
You're welcome David. Glad my efforts are being appreciated (takes quite a bit of time to sort through all the pics, edit them (e.g. crop, rotate, adjust brightness & contrast...), and upload them!).

I'm really hoping BMW change the cup holder in particular, as it is a very noticeable part in the cabin, hence instantly lowering the tone of the cabin.
One of the BMW reps (who was pi**ing me off as he obviously had very little knowledge of the car yet tried to give the impression he knew what he was talking about!) said that it was plastic in order to keep the weight down. But as you say David, if that was purely the case, then that doesn't stop BMW from making a CFRP one!

I also hope that they change the visors as they are awful quality TBH. And the headlining was dreadful as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by X3paul View Post
I am really impressed with the poor quality interior of this car. A vw polo has better quality plastics. Using the idrive controller from a 20k 116i on a 100k + flagship sports car would be a big no no for me. The climate control panel looks like an 80's aftermarket cd player. terrible. I would get an m5 - more power, better sound, better quality and spend the rest on an i3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by forrests View Post
I have decided for sure now. I'm waiting until version 2 comes out in 5 years! This car concept is great but it is missing too many features which I think are needed in a car of this price and a car with such a limited external view. Also the build will improve over time as will the features.
I'm going with a gas hog like Carac has!!!
Sorry for the result on the environment but I want only 1 car to do all I need. This first generation i8 just doesn't cut it!
Good luck to all who DO buy it.
TBH, on the whole, I quite like the interior it's modern yet not too futuristic where it would like you were driving a wannabe space-ship!
I agree with you that some of the plastics used and some other aspects of the car aren't of great quality, and hence don't have a feel premium feel.
However (and I know I'm probably going to p*ss off quite a few BMW owners here by saying this LOL), BMW have never really used particularly high quality materials (wrt the non-load bearing items) in their cars. I was in a new M6 the other day, as well as the new X5, and also the X6, and the materials are poor in them too TBH, despite all of the cars I was in costing $100k+!

Audi are the same TBH. I was in an R8 GT Spyder a few months back, and even then I mentioned how poor the quality of the trim was! Porsche also do it to a certain extent, by using cheap nasty plastic in their indicator / wiper controller stalks, even in their c. $200k 911 Turbos!

Having said all that, the i8 is great in other areas, hence me having ordered one.

forrests, Wrt your comment "This car concept is great but it is missing too many features which I think are needed in a car of this price", what do you mean by missing too many features? What do you feel it ought to have? (That's a genuine question BTW LOL.)
And regarding, "a car with such a limited external view", are you aware that there is a 'Surround View' option, which uses multiple cameras for greater all-round vision?
P.S. Guess that means you'll also be changing your "Drives: i8" info(?)
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      04-20-2014, 01:29 PM   #17
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I like the overall shape and style of the i8 interior.

If BMW were to offer the Individual program for the i8, I would special order the center console wrapped in leather and a leather headliner, as well. However no matter what you do, all of the carpeting in the rear area is going to be hard to do anything about in the i8. I think a big part of that is the 2+2 seat backs not connecting to the seats. It exposes a lot more carpet everywhere. Plus, the plastic back of the front seats should have been Carbon. I think BMW definitely could have gone more all out in those details to make the i8 truly a special car. It still is, to me, of course; just that it could have been more so to the casual observer.

The nicest interior I've seen in recent times is the Porshce Panamera (a REALLY well optioned example, most definitely not base). Buttons will be buttons and plastic being what it is, unless you have aluminum, ceramic, or Carbon Fiber buttons, they'll look the same in any car. The Panamera interior felt like a million bucks, such that any parts of it that can be considered cheap are barely noticeable.

Beyond that I drool over Ferrari interiors and leather. They are simply gorgeous. They do, of course, come hand in hand with Ferrari prices.

BMW is not on the level of materials and quality of higher end Porsches, and in my opinion Ferrari and Maserati have the nicest feeling interiors of any car out there. Although I do think that a fully decked out BMW Individual M6 or 760Li can compete on interior quality with high end Mercs with Designo interiors, their top of the line. Audi, yeah up they suck. Never liked their interiors at all.

That all being said, the i8 isn't really a luxury car. It's a sports car. But given it's tech roots, I think BMW could have gone more all out with a high tech looking interior materials and some innovation. This thread and those damn cupholders. I see a niche aftermarket opportunity for, well, all 8 of us who GAF enough to do something about it
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      04-20-2014, 01:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddk632 View Post
I like the overall shape and style of the i8 interior. Me too

If BMW were to offer the Individual program for the i8, I would special order the center console wrapped in leather and a leather headliner, as well. Don't blame you TBH. Personally an alcantara headlining has a nice preimum feel to itHowever no matter what you do, all of the carpeting in the rear area is going to be hard to do anything about in the i8. I think a big part of that is the 2+2 seat backs not connecting to the seats. It exposes a lot more carpet everywhere. Plus, the plastic back of the front seats should have been Carbon Nice idea, I like your thinking LOL. I think BMW definitely could have gone more all out in those details to make the i8 truly a special car. It still is, to me, of course; just that it could have been more so to the casual observer. I agree, although I suppose (in BMW's defence, we are getting a lot of tech as standard, most of which are cost options on regular BMWs

The nicest interior I've seen in recent times is the Porshce Panamera (a REALLY well optioned example, most definitely not base). It's nice, which is why I went for Full leather interior, Light Design Package, etc. on my 981, as it really did make the car feel more specialButtons will be buttons and plastic being what it is, unless you have aluminum, ceramic, or Carbon Fiber buttons, they'll look the same in any carNot quite true, Maserati have a lovely soft rubber texture to their buttons & switches. The Panamera interior felt like a million bucks, such that any parts of it that can be considered cheap are barely noticeable.

Beyond that I drool over Ferrari interiors and leather. They are simply gorgeous. They do, of course, come hand in hand with Ferrari prices. Indeed they do LOL.

BMW is not on the level of materials and quality of higher end Porsches, and in my opinion Ferrari and Maserati have the nicest feeling interiors of any car out there. That must be where I'm going wrong - I must have been spoilt wrt premium quality interiors, as I also have a Maserati GranCabrio MC (the convertible version of the MC Stradale) LOL. Although I do think that a fully decked out BMW Individual M6 or 760Li can compete on interior quality with high end Mercs with Designo interiors, their top of the line. Audi, yeah up they suck. Never liked their interiors at all.

That all being said, the i8 isn't really a luxury car. It's a sports car. But given it's tech roots, I think BMW could have gone more all out with a high tech looking interior materials and some innovation. This thread and those damn cupholders. I see a niche aftermarket opportunity for, well, all 8 of us who GAF enough to do something about it But as I personally prefer OEM fitted options, I really hope that BMW do something about the rear passenger cup holder, front visors, headlining, etc!
In addition to my comments above (in blue), as the rear parcel shelf is offered in a leather finish (part of BMW's 'Pure Impulse Design Package'), and the door sill trims can be replaced, I plan to change these later on. All you have to do is order them as spare parts.
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      04-20-2014, 03:24 PM   #19
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I need to go sit in an MC and check out the rubbery buttons

Looked over all the photos again and my main "gripe" really is the rear center console carpet and cupholder. I have a BMW already so I think the headliner is the same as I have in my X6M. Can live with that.

I do understand that BMW probably doesn't expect a ton of people using those rear seats, though, so they didn't go crazy back there.

So, it's down to the cupholder
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      04-20-2014, 03:41 PM   #20
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I need to go sit in an MC and check out the rubbery buttons

Looked over all the photos again and my main "gripe" really is the rear center console carpet and cupholder. I have a BMW already so I think the headliner is the same as I have in my X6M. Can live with that.

I do understand that BMW probably doesn't expect a ton of people using those rear seats, though, so they didn't go crazy back there.

So, it's down to the cupholder
Whoever thought the purchase of an i8 hinged on a cup holder! LOL.

Agreed, they didn't go all-out in the back of the i8, but it's not too bad TBH.
I've spec'd the 'Carpo Dark' Amido Black interior, so I was worried it might be a bit 'claustrophobic' in the back for rear passengers. But it's not dark & dingy as I was worried it might be. I guess the close proximity of the rear glass screen and rear window help to let more light in the back.

As for the soft rubber finish of the buttons in the MC, they have the same buttons & switches on the standard GranTurismo and GranCabrio TBH. So you don't have to try and hunt down a rare MC to have a feel of them! Te he.

You see, the headlining is the same as in the X6 etc. i.e. dreadful! ha ha
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      04-21-2014, 09:33 AM   #21
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Love the looks not crazy about interior. A Tesla has a better interior. My M6 is even better. And the steering wheel is awful.

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      04-21-2014, 09:59 AM   #22
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Love the looks not crazy about interior. A Tesla has a better interior. My M6 is even better. And the steering wheel is awful.

Noushy
Agreed Noushy. Our M6's are beautifully designed inside and out. For a car that looks so striking on the outside, this car is a huge disappointment inside. I've said it before and I'll say it again, BMW needs to let the M Division have a go at this platform. I have no doubt that they would create something truly special.
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