Car Review

Driving the BMW i8 as a Daily Car

FUTURE. NOW.

Driving a supercar every day!

We’ve driven a supercar on Indian streets for a week and things didn’t turn out to be as bad we expected them to be.

TECH OVERDOSE

The i8 might be a 3-year-old product technically but all the tech can still leave you wowed even in 2018.

How does it feel from behind the wheel?

Very normal. Now I don’t know whether that’s a good thing. It’s very nice and comfortable to drive on an everyday basis-unlike most supercars. The suspension absorbs most tarmac undulations unlike most supercars and doesn’t feel like you are literally feeling each and every grainy tarmac with your bottom. It’s very car-like just apart from the fact that you are sitting very low. The battery placement is very clever-giving the i8 a nice centre of gravity which you can feel while you are pushing the car into sharp corners.

The Drive modes

i8 has four drive modes- Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport and eDrive. Now Eco Pro and Comfort don’t really feel different from each other- the electric motor and the petrol engine work in tandem to get you the best of efficiency. eDrive uses only the electric motor and is dependent on the level of charge in the battery. You can either plug-in and charge the car to use eDrive or wait for the regenerative braking and other regenerative tech to charge up the battery by itself. Then you can see in the instrument cluster exactly how many kilometers you can do on pure electric mode. In my case, it was never more than 5kms. However, plug it in overnight and you can do around 40 kms without using a single drop of fuel.

Slot the gear selector left and you activate Sport mode. The three-cylinder motor growls to life and it becomes really hard to convince people around that it is just a 1.5-litre motor. The exhaust note is piped into the car’s cabin through the speakers to which many purists like me will whine about. But to be honest, it sounds just about fine.

Can you daily it?

In a word – Yes. You will scrape the underbelly, no matter however hard you try but apart from that, the i8 does feel like a supercar which you can drive to work daily- in rush hour traffic and the scorching heat. There is good visibility all around for the driver and we got a Fuel Efficiency figure of around 13kmpl inside the city which is at par with most hatchbacks!

To sum it up then, with all the engine downsizing norms in place, the future lies in the hand of electric tech tweaking around horsepower from lithium-ion batteries and the BMW i8 is a perfect reflection of how to do it right!


SPECS

Engine – 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol + kw electric motor

Combined Power – 362bhp ; Torque- 570Nm

Transmission – 6 Speed AT (petrol motor) + 2 Speed AT (electric motor)

Acceleration- 0-100kmph – 4.4seconds. Top Speed-250kmph

Price- Rs. 2.62cr (ex-showroom)

Driving the BMW i8 as a Daily Car
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