If you're looking for the sports car of the future, then this could well be it. It’s called the i8 and it's the latest BMW to get the ‘i’ treatment.
It’s made from the lightest, strongest materials and is powered by a petrol/ electric plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive. All this in the interest of saving the planet – in a car that’ll do 0-60 in under four and a half seconds and reach a speed limited to 155mph. That will put many super cars to shame.
The i8 boasts a three cylinder 1.5 litre engine. It's the same one used in the mini, but thanks to a supercharger it pumps out 228hp and works alongside a 129hp electric motor which powers the front wheels. As for the handling, BMW is no stranger to making cars that handle well, and with a car as planted as the i8, its no surprise it feels light on its feet. It’s not as agile as a Porsche 911 or Audi R8, but it's still very capable.
Officially BMW says the i8 will do 135mpg and just 49g/km. That’s a little optimistic, but there’s certainly nothing that compares in this class.
The i8 turns heads wherever it goes; its futuristic styling really give it presence on the road. Other stand-out features include the narrow LED headlamps, sculpted curves and body panels that give the impression they're floating.
That 'tomorrows world' exterior is matched by the interior. The gullwing style doors open to reveal a cabin that's awash with technology, including 8.8 inch HD screens – one to display the speedo and rev counter, the other for sat nav and infotainment.
As you’d expect, the build quality is top-notch, and in a similar way to the i3, it uses recycled and sustainable materials.
Space is a little tight (no surprises when you see the exterior). It’s billed as a 2+2, but the rear seats are only really best suited for smaller passengers and the boot, which is under the glass hatch at the rear, is only big enough for a couple of weekend bags.
But what do a couple of young professionals make of the i8? Watch the video to find out.