I talked about the BMW i3 a couple weeks ago and the Tesla Model S P85D last week, I seem to be on a car spree lately. If you’re getting tired of it, I do apologize but I think you will be quite impressed by this next car: the BMW i8. You see, BMW knew the competition was quite stiff in the just over $100k price range. Most of all major companies have something for that part of the market so BMW decided to go a different route and have quite frankly outdone themselves in the process. The i8 is the future of cars and I really really like it.

bmw-i8

Looks

The i8 is flat out stunning. Whether that means it’s actually good looking or just head turning, the point is moot. The i8 will get you noticed no matter where you go because there’s nothing like it in the world. It looks like a concept car that managed to sneak by the people who make those kind of decisions. You don’t have to be a car lover to recognize the absurdity of the i8.

On the inside, it gets surprisingly familiar. Here I was, imagining some sort of futuristic gesture system when really, the inside of the i8 look like a typical BMW. For all of the craziness on the outside, you get the feeling that just about anyone, or at least decent drivers, could hop right into the i8 and understand how everything works.

bmw-i8-first-deliveries

How It Drives

Ok, so it looks cool, is that really the future of cars? No, that’s not what I was getting at. You see, the i8 is unique for one other detail: the fact that it is the first step in bringing carbon fiber to the masses. Being that carbon fiber is so strong and light, it is a great material for making fast and efficient cars. However, most cars that make use of carbon fiber are much more expensive because the manufacturing costs of carbon fiber are too expensive to justify on your mom’s new Camry. With the i8 and i3, BMW is poised to be the first car manufacturer to mass produce carbon on such a scale.

Then there’s the matter of the power. The i8 is actually a hybrid with two electric motors at the front and a 1.5 liter 3 cylinder for a combined total of just over 350 horsepower. That may not sound like a lot but that’s enough to give the i8 a very good 0-60 time, even if it isn’t the fastest, plus it gets an astonishing 78 mpge (honestly, I don’t quite know what this means, most likely it means a combination of electric and gas power but it’s not clear what percentage of both would be necessary to achieve a 78 mpge). The i8 isn’t about pure speed, it’s about the future of cars and BMW has certainly built a winner for a fraction of the cost of other hybrid supercars.

Meet Weston Lanpher

Weston is our professional gadget reviewer. Nothing thrills him more than being able to get his hands on the latest and greatest in electronics.