When we picked up our 2015 BMW M3 Sedan at BMW Canada Headquarters in Richmond Hill, we couldn't help but notice a beautiful BMW i8 sitting in the executive parking lot, charging its batteries. With the help of the BMW detailer, we got a closer look at the exterior and interior of the first i8 brought to Ontario.
With a starting price of $145,000, the i8 racks up against the likes of the Audi R8 and Porsche 911. Unlike a Tesla, this all-wheel drive i8 isn't a fully electric vehicle, rather its a plug-in hybrid that uses a TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to power the rear-axle and an electric motor that feeds the front axle, delivering a total output of 420 lb-ft of torque.
Fun facts about the i8:
- Electric engine produces 131 hp to the front axle with a two-speed automatic gearbox
- Gasoline engine produces 231 hp to the rear axle with a six-speed automatic gearbox
- Essentially, the i8 is all-wheel drive thanks to these two driving mechanisms, and can reach a top speed of 250 km/h
- Range in EV mode is a miniscule 24km, which doesn't come close to the i3 or the Tesla's electric range, which are both north of 100 km. BMW states that it has a combined fuel efficiency of 2.1 L/100km - not bad.
- The i8 makes use of aluminum and carbon fibre reinforced plastic, making it very lightweight to balance out the extra weight of the batteries - weighs just under 1500kg.
- Those scissor doors are huge. Good luck squeezing into the cabin when that nasty driver parks only a few inches away from you.
- A nifty option - the i8 uses "laser light technology" for the front headlights - yes, lasers.
- The interior is plain old vanilla BMW - nothing exciting here, but it looks good at night when all the interior lights begin to glow.
- The car key is the same as the BMW i3s - flat, lightweight, and made from recyclable materials
- Louis Vuitton designed and produced a series of carbon-fibre luggage pieces to fit right into the i8's cargo space.
- Costs a hefty starting price of $145,000, but don't forget about those government rebate incentives (not like they make much of a difference once you're north of $100k).