*The Grand Indian launch of the BMW i8 at NSCI, Mumbai. Master Blaster himself shows us the Future!*
BMW – Hey guys, we need a supercar. It needs to be fun, it needs to be super fast, it needs to look from the future and it needs to be frugal as well. Can you do it?
Well, this is the kind of product brief we imagine the R&D folks at BMW received from its bosses when the i8 was being conceptualized. Revolutionizing everything that BMW stands for this hybrid supercar is the future of gluttony for power and performance, but at half the tank of fuel.
Now lets be honest, BMW is not really known to make gorgeous looking cars. Sure they handle well, but clearly design has not been their forte *cough* *cough* Z3 *cough*, but the i8 is an exception. After you have regained the act of breathing after witnessing its breathless design for the first time, it is then that you realize that BMW has put in a lot of effort in making it looking like a spectacle from the future.
Derived from the 2009 Efficient Dynamics concept, the BMW i8 stays true to the roots and seems too good to be true to end up on our roads looking like this. The styling is brave, outrageous, and ambitious and plays each of the parts very well. While it may serve little purpose here, the trademark kidney grille have been maintained and come with angular shaped headlights equipped with laser LEDs for the aggression.
The extremely aerodynamic low stance on the i8 ensures a sporty appeal; while the scissor doors grab more attention than that of an Lamborghini Aventador. At the rear, the i8 comes with inverted LED equipped tail lights and an angular bumper that amalgamates beautifully in the mid-engined rear. The highlights of the design are the quintessential ‘I’ brand bits including the blue stripes all over and a soft positive tone to the hybrid supercar.
Powering the i8 is a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol motor belting out 228 horses and 250 Nm of torque. This German baby is paired to a synchronous electric motor and takes the combined output to 362 PS and 570 Nm of torque. With the 6-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels, the i8’s front wheels are propelled by the electric motor paired to a 2-speed automatic transmission. With that kind of power, the 0-100 kph sprint comes up in 4.4 seconds and the speed has been electronically limited to 250 kph.
The i8 also has the coolest key fob in the world. Period. It comes with a display screen that gives out details including the percentage of charge remaining on your car, the travel range, fuel level, boot lock as well as unlock functions and oh yeah the time. If high tech watches are your thing; you won’t need them once the i8 comes along.
On the inside, the BMW i8 is every bit Bavarian as it can get. Despite getting a futuristic cabin to match the exteriors of the hybrid supercar, the i8 gets familiar bit that will not alienate you or any frequent modern day user. The BMW gearshift from its other models is visible and you get cozy bucket seats with a snug fit. There is also a large instrument display screen that showcases the car’s vital stats.
In addition, there are also different modes that enable the BMW i8 to be tuned for outright power or ecofriendly hybrid performance. While the latter is available in the standard blue ambient lighting, the former is unleashed with the sport mode and turns all illumination to orange (and angry) much to the happiness of the customers At all points, you do appreciate the familiarity that ensures the car remains the drivable at all times.
Certainly, the BMW i8 has impressed us by the dozen and the best part is that this is just the beginning. The supercar will define the future of the German auto giant n the years to come and offer so much more power and equally frugal powertrain that will soon trickle down in more mass market BMWs in the future. Being a four seater, it is also one of the most practical cars today and would be the perfect companion for a weekend get away as well as a family ride.