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      02-15-2015, 05:16 PM   #1
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BMW i8 vs M1 track battle review

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BMW i8 vs M1 track battle
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Auto Express evaluates the i8 vs the classic M1 supercar on the track:



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The new BMW i8 is a futuristic stunner, with a hi-tech duo of an electric motor and petrol engine from the MINI Cooper. Jump back more than three decades and the last mid-engined car to wear a BMW badge was the M1 - which turned just as many heads when it debuted in 1978.

To find out how thirty years of evolution has changed the BMW supercar, we took along a classic M1 to meet the new i8 at the Auto Express test track. The BMW i8 features a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol from the MINI Cooper driving the rear wheels, while an electric motor drives the front. Under the engine cover of the M1 is something altogether much more traditional: a 3.5-litre six-cylinder unit putting out 277bhp and 330Nm of torque. This compares to 357bhp and 570Nm in the i8.

On the track, the two cars feel very different. We didn't push the M1 too hard due to its age and value - mint examples fetch around 400,000 - but it performed brilliantly around our track. The gearbox has lovely action, the steering is perfectly weighted and the chassis feels perfectly matched to the power on tap.

Jump into the i8 and it feels very futuristic. There's instant power on tap due to the combination of the electric motor and the engine in Sport mode, with a great soundtrack in the cabin - it's even reminiscent of the sound of the M1. There's plenty of grip, too, and the performance is great. It's rather special and doesn't feel like any other BMW.

Both the i8 and M1 are true BMWs at heart. It's not often that BMW breaks the mould and builds a mid-engined car, but when they do, they know how to make their mark.

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      02-16-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting that. Great review
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      02-16-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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Man, I love the sound of the M88.
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      02-17-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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That's the closest I'll ever come to going for a ride in a M1. I've always loved that car (except the wheels, I hate those wheels!)

Thanks for posting!
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      02-17-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
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Now Accord vs GTR
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      02-17-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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This is a classic I'm dying to own!
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      02-18-2015, 03:06 AM   #7
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Waiting on the koenigsegg one:1 vs smart brabus edition track battle review

Now that is an apples to apples comparison
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      02-18-2015, 07:33 AM   #8
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Not a Mini Cooper engine in the i8 or at least not The mini spec engine and doesn't it have an 8 speed auto? He Said 6 speed.
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      02-18-2015, 09:36 AM   #9
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The i8 has a derivative of a mini engine and a six speed auto. I seem to recall that the 8 speed was deemed too heavy.
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      02-18-2015, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epoc View Post
The i8 has a derivative of a mini engine and a six speed auto. I seem to recall that the 8 speed was deemed too heavy.
Yes, a tuned version of the mini engine. More boost, more power. Perhaps some strengthened internals too to cope.

I too read that the 8 speed was too heavy.

I am glad BMW focused so hard on weight reduction, as the i8 feels very nimble as a result
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      02-18-2015, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasH View Post
Yes, a tuned version of the mini engine. More boost, more power. Perhaps some strengthened internals too to cope.

I too read that the 8 speed was too heavy.

I am glad BMW focused so hard on weight reduction, as the i8 feels very nimble as a result
But, damnit, how much does comfort access weigh?
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      02-18-2015, 01:50 PM   #12
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Fun video, but it really does not make sense as a comparison.
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      02-19-2015, 04:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBimmer View Post
But, damnit, how much does comfort access weigh?


And how much does having a gear indicator on the HUD weigh?
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      02-19-2015, 08:04 AM   #14
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They are both amazing, but I still can't help feeling that the M1 is the more honest machine. The new technology in the i8 is incredible but the sound is a lie.

For such an awesome, futuristic car they should have made it sound like the future instead of the past IMO.
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      02-19-2015, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawfordbay View Post
They are both amazing, but I still can't help feeling that the M1 is the more honest machine. The new technology in the i8 is incredible but the sound is a lie.

For such an awesome, futuristic car they should have made it sound like the future
instead of the past IMO.
It does.
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