This is a BMW, i8 roadster and it’s a little bit different from all the other exotic sports cars. I’ve reviewed. Some of the basics are pretty similar does 0-60 in just over 4 seconds. It has a base price of around 165 thousand dollars.
It has two seats, a low-slung design and all-wheel drive, but there’s. A big difference, namely this is a plug-in hybrid. It has a three cylinder gasoline engine made it to an electric motor that can drive the car for around 20 miles on electric power alone.
That sounds a little bit weird and it is, and that’s. What makes this thing so cool here’s, what I mean right now, if you want to have fun and ditch gasoline and go alternative fuel, and yes, there are people like that, and I and very much one of them.
You only have three electric sports car options to choose from. You have the Acura NSX, which goes all of two miles on electric power before the gas engine kicks in. You have the Porsche 918 Spyder, which costs 1.
5 million dollars, and then you have this notably absent from this list is the Porsche 911, which is still gasoline, only the Audi r8, basically any Ferrari, and basically any and all BMW M and Mercedes AMG model.
This annoys the hell out of me, because Tesla has proven that it’s possible to make a minivan that out accelerates a McLaren and still gets 300 miles of electric range. So where are all the electric sports cars? Why isn’t? Anyone else doing this right now.
This is basically it and it’s finally available as a convertible. Following up on the i8 coupe that came out four long years ago, I’ve borrowed this. I eight roadster from Crevier BMW here in Orange County California.
They are the largest BMW dealer in the United States by sales, so it’s, no surprise they’ve gotten the i8 roadster just after it came out in this rather unusual color called the e copper. Today I’m gonna.
Take you on a tour of the i8 roadster. I’m gonna show you all of its interesting quirks and cool features. Then I’m gonna get it out on the road and drive it and then I’m going to give it a dug score and for more of my thoughts on the i8 click, the link below to visit, Auto calm, / Oversteer, where I’ve, also rounded up a list of the best electric car bargains currently listed for sale on auto trader.
Now I’m gonna start back here with my favorite design, detail of the eye aid, and that is the fact that you have the roofline coming down here and you have this wheel arch coming up here, but they don’t.
Quite meet: instead, this is a hole. It’s fluid, so air can pass through it for better aerodynamics, and I think it’s. Just one of the coolest looks when you see this car on the side, you might think there’s, not a hole here.
But when you look at it from this angle, you can tell that there is, and that is a neat little trick and BMW makes cool use of the hole and how it ends up in the back, namely there’s, a little gap here and The turn signal is on top and then the brake light kind of comes around and covers everything on the bottom and then the gap is in the middle and it ends up being one of the coolest turn signal taillight designs in the industry.
It’s, a very cool look in the back of this car and since we’re around back in the i8, something worth mentioning back here. If you look closely at the rear styling of the i8, you will see that it looks like it is giving birth to a Porsche at 911.
Here’s. What I mean here is the back of a Porsche 911. Okay, you see how that looks and then come back to the back of the i8, and you can see that the rear of the i8 looks like it is sort of around this center panel, and this centre panel looks just like a 911.
It looks like a 911 is sort of popping out the back of an i8. It’s. One of those things you don’t see until it & # 39. S pointed out to you and then when it is pointed out to you, you can’t unsee it and now, every time I’m behind it, I ate in traffic.
I look at the back and I think that there’s, a 911 coming out the rear of the i8, but next we move on to what might just be the i8 s craziest rear characteristic, and that would be the exhaust now check this out.
The i8 has dual rear exhaust: that’s, in spite of the fact that it’s. Only a three cylinder gasoline engine, if you thought dual exhausts, might be overkill. While you’re correct only the one, the passenger side is actually a functional exhaust.
The one on the driver’s. Side has a speaker in it. Now. I know what you’re thinking. Well, yeah. I know automakers are piping in fake sound from the outside into the cabin and speakers and exhaust that’s, pretty common.
No! No! This isn’t for the interior. This is for the exterior when you’re, going full throttle in your i8, the speaker inside the exhaust on the driver’s. Side sends out noise to make the car seem louder and more aggressive than it actually is.
So one of the tailpipes in the i8 is not actually a tailpipe. It is a speaker to enhance the car’s. Engine note to bystanders. That is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard. Next, I’m moving down the sign.
Another interesting I ate item is the fact that the i8 roaster says a roadster and this little panel behind the front windows to emphasize that it isn’t the crappy basic fixed roof, coupe version. Now that’s, not all that uncommon automakers.
Do that a lot? The weird thing is that the coupe now says coupe on it. I find the side because most of the time, coupes don’t brag, that their coupes, that’s, just sort of the default, and then you can pay extra, get some weird body style, but the i8 does in fact brag now.
The funny thing is, of course, that it’s very easy to tell apart the i8 coupe from the i8 roadster, given that the roadster has a soft cloth top that folds down and the coupe has a fixed metal roof. But if you still needed help, BMW helps you by saying coupe on the coupe and roadster on the roadster.
Next up, we move up to the front of the i8. Were there a couple of interesting courts, one of which is the fact that the BMW grills in the front of this car are fake now on gas-powered BMWs? Obviously, the grills are important to get air into the engine, but in this car the engines in the middle it’s.
Small, the girls aren’t necessary for that, but it has the grilles. Anyway. They’re, just plastic and they’re purely there for style so that this car still retains the classic look of a BMW. Just like all the gas powered models that’s kind of interesting, but anyway, with the engine.
In the back, you might be wondering well what exactly is up here. The answer is you’ll, never find out that’s, because BMW doesn’t. Let you open this. You need special tools to pop this open and get it open that’s, because the electric motor is under here and also a lot of high voltage wires.
And if you open this BMW figures, you & # 39. Ll probably hurt yourself, which, frankly, is probably true now the other interesting thing up here is this vent. Now this event dissipates heat and on earlyer i8 models.
It was very large, but what BMW was finding was it was so big. It was sending a lot of hot air from the electric motor basically into the cabin on the Roadster, so when they came out with the Roadster, they changed this vent so that it’s, a lot smaller and they redesigned sort of the airflow.
So now, hot air isn’t sent directly into the cabin every time you have the roof down now. Next up, we move on to the doors and the doors are noteworthy because they’re, not the same boring normal doors from your car.
No, no, the i8 has cool car doors. They open up like this, and you got to admit that looks pretty cool now in order to open them. You stick your hand in sort of this hidden little cubby behind the door.
There’s, a latch there and then it pops open and the door is up for all to see how cool you are and with the door open. There are a couple of interesting corks worth noting one of which is closing it again now.
Instead of having to place your hand here and get handprints all over the door, when you close it, BMW has placed a little plastic cubby right here, the same one, you use to open the door, so you can just put your hand in here and close it And the door still looks nice now.
The other interesting thing about the door is that there’s, a keyhole in it. It’s hidden. Obviously you don’t see it when you look at the side of the car, but if you go over on the driver’s side, there’s, a little keyhole sort of hidden in that cubby.
So if the electronic mechanism to open the doors fails or if the battery and your key fob fails to unlock them, you can still stick in a manual key to open up the doors in your I eight now. Next up, I want to talk about getting into the i8, which is actually more difficult than you might think.
This car has a carbon fiber chassis and cars with a carbon fiber chassis. It generally comes up pretty high on the door sill for added stiffness, and this car is no exception. In fact, this car has four different door.
Sills come one two three four and you have to climb over each of those. Every time you get inside so getting inside is no easy feat, as I will demonstrate well, of course, the door is right here, which only makes it harder now getting in.
Obviously, that wasn’t so difficult, but that isn’t the hard part the hard part is getting out. I’m, not really sure how best to do it just kind of stick your feet over oh and climb out. Looking at like a complete doofus after you’ve, just looked so cool opening up your door, but that’s, the price you pay for style now, speaking of getting out.
That is a quirk too, because this car doesn’t have a traditional door handle like every other car. Instead, there is a button near the front of the door panel that you press and it pops open the door and then it sort of glides open.
So you can easily climb out now that’s, an electronic door popper. But what? If the electronic mechanism fails well, fortunately there’s, also a manual release further up on the door panel. So if the electronic part isn’t working, you pull the main you and you can still get out of the i8.
But more than opening the door to get out, you might be wondering how exactly do you close the door once you’ve gotten in because it’s all the way over there and its massive well, of course, BMW thought of that.
There is a very sturdy door handle near the base of the door panel. You just reach up, pull it as hard as you want it’s, not gonna come off and the door closes actually pretty easily, not as easy as a regular door.
But easily enough, but if you’re like me, you’re, probably wondering why even bother closing the door, can you drive around with the doors up and the answer to that question is yes, you can you have to have your seatbelt On or else the car will automatically place itself in park when you try to drive away, but if you put your seatbelt on, you can drive with the doors up, as I demonstrated when I reviewed the i8 coupe several years ago.
Take a look at that footage. Yes, you can now. Obviously I don’t recommend doing this, considering that it destroys your aerodynamics. It vastly increases your car’s, surface area, so you can’t, get into low spaces or tight areas, and there’s, the obvious safety risk, but nonetheless you can do it in case.
You really want to drive home the point that your doors are cooler than the doors and every regular persons, car and speaking of the doors here’s, an interesting quirk of them. This is as far down as the window rolls check this out.
I put the window up, I roll it all the way down and it stops right here which kind of gets annoying, because if you’re driving along or if you’re, a passenger and you want to rest your arm on the Door cell instead of the windows there and you can’t really do that it doesn’t, go all the way down very unusual and speaking of window related quirks in the i8 roadster here’s, an especially unusual one.
This window goes up. Take a look at this. It acts as a wind deflector when the roof is down, so the wind kind of breezes over you and doesn’t screw up your hair or you can put it all the way down for the full, open air experience or even when the roof Is up, you can put this window down and sort of get a breeze through the cabin.
The BMW 6-series also had this feature and of course so does the Toyota 4runner is about the only thing those two vehicles share to put this window down. You press a little button near the top of the windshield near the mirror, and it goes down her up.
Just like a window on the side: next, we move on to the roof itself and, as you might expect, a quirky car has a rather quirky roof. I’m, going to start with just putting it down now. First off the button to drop the roof is not just a button that sits out in the open, like every other convertible I’ve been, and instead it’s inside a little plastic cubby, which, in the coop is used for storage.
In this car it’s used for the roof lowering button. So anyway, you press the button, and this is how the roof operates. It’s, a very unusual operation compared to a standard convertible. You can watch it go down and since I know people love this, who watch my videos, you can also watch it go up here.
You go enjoying the roof is going up la-dee-da and that’s. How the roof works on the i8 roadster. It actually is worth watching because it’s more unusual than a standard route and another interesting item.
You can raise the convertible top from the outside of the cars simply by holding down the lock button on the key fob press. The button hold it down long enough and eventually the roof closes and the windows go up, allowing you to completely lock the car without having to climb back inside and press the interior button to raise the top pretty good idea.
Now you might be wondering where exactly does the roof go? Well, obviously, it goes into a little storage area back here perfectly designed to fit it. But more importantly, it goes where the rear seats are in the coop.
There are two rear seats and the roadster they had to ditch those rear seats in order to have room for the roof when it’s down now. The benefit of this is by ditching the rear seats. They preserve the trunk, so the i8 roadster has the exact same sized trunk as the i8 coupe, but it loses the two rear seats, not that anyone really used them anyway.
Now, fortunately, the table doesn’t, take up all of the room behind the front seats where the rear seats used to be it just takes up most of it. There’s. Still a little space left and BMW uses it for storage.
There’s, actually a rather large storage cubby back here behind the front seats where you can stick stuff there’s. Also a little storage panel mounted between the two seats that says i8 on it. This is only designed for papers or maybe just to look cool but look cool.
It does now. Next up. We move on to the trunk, which is back here now, like I said, the trunk space on the Roadster isn’t compromised compared to the coupe, but, as you can see it’s, still very small there.
Just really isn’t all that much trunk space in this vehicle. It isn’t very practical. I do like the fact, though, that, despite how small this trunk is, BMW still has to put in the federally mandated safety pull so that if someone gets stuck in there, they can get out.
Just in case you’re hanging out with the world’s, smallest person, and they accidentally climb in the trunk. They have a way out, and next up, we move inside the i8 roadster, where there are, as you might imagine quite a few interesting quirks.
The first is just how many lines and swirls and cuts and swoops there are in this interior. It’s. Quite a sight to behold, if you use two standard regular, boring interiors like in normal cars now, one of my favourite quirks in this car is the fact that there is a single cup holder right here between the driver and passenger seat.
That’s. Fine, but there is also a cup holder back here. This is sort of a remnant. I guess when the car had a back seat, it no longer does, and this couple there is basically out of reach. You have to look, go like lift to get your drink, but it’s there, your second cup holder for the rear seat, passengers who no longer exist now.
Our next interesting interior item has to do with the climate control vents because of all the swirls and swoops and gouges. This car has no room for regular horizontal climate control vents, so instead there are two for the driver side and then strangely, there are two over on the passenger side of the dashboard.
Instead of two right in the middle. It’s, an unusual thing, but it works with this odd interior next up. Another interesting item is the fuel door, but it isn’t interesting out there, where it actually opens it’s, just a normal fuel door.
Instead, it’s, interesting in here that’s, because you push the fuel door button, which is on the door panel right next to the power windows. And then the car says preparing for refueling, nothing happens for a few seconds and then it says refueling is possible.
The reason for that as the Fielder is pressurized, and so I guess it’s depressurizing when you press that button and when it’s, finally ready for you to actually open it, then it says: refueling is possible very unusual.
Next up. Another interesting item is interior storage. There really isn’t all that much because of the unusual doors and the carbon fiber chassis. There isn’t any storage all on the door panels. There’s, just the glovebox.
There are two center consoles in this car, one that opens that way and contains the convertible top button and a larger one that opens this way towards the driver. So there’s, just not all that much space.
Therefore, it’s very nice, actually that the rear cubbies are back here, where rear seats used to be. It adds in a story to just make this car a practical usable vehicle. Next, I’m moving on to the infotainment system.
Now I went over the infotainment system in the latest BMW models in great depth in my review of the new BMW m5, which I will link in the description below. So if you want to see sort of the deep dive into the infotainment system, you can see it there.
However, there are a couple of interesting quirks worth noting. One is the fact: if you go into an item called technology in action and you go into E Drive, it shows some of the cool electric happenings in the vehicle.
For example, it can show your split between using the electric motor and the gasoline motor. How long you’ve used each, how many miles you’ve, driven and gas and electric, and that is pretty cool. It can also show you exactly which motor is active at any given time, which is a nice feature, and obviously something that you have five didn’t have another interesting item.
If you go into eco pro tips, this car will actually give you tips on how to drive more efficiently. You have to go into eco pro mode to activate it, which is the most fuel-efficient mode in a car. But once you do, tips will actually show up there kind of teaching you how best to drive in order to conserve fuel as much as possible.
That’s, not something you get in a lot of other exotic sports cars. Another interesting interior item check this out. The start/stop button is surrounded by this cool-looking silver shroud, which looks nice but check this out.
When you get inside there’s, some lights up there, that sort of blink red goading you into pressing the start/stop button. When you actually do turn the car, those lights turn blue to let you know that it’s on, and so those are the quirks and features of the rather quirky i8 roadster.
Now it’s time to get it out on the road and drive it alright, driving the i8 roadster top-down cuz. You got ta now, first impression. The driving position is actually pretty good. This car, you’ll notice when you see it on the street, it isn’t quite as low as some of the other exotics.
It clearly kind of comes up a little bit more for more Headroom. The result is that I fit in without any problems it’s actually really comfortable in here, even though it has sort of that cool exotic car look and those things.
Don’t always go hand in hand, [ Music ]. Obviously it’s got a ton of power and it feels like it does it actually. Doesn’t have that much power. When you look at our on paper, the power number is not dramatic.
It’s like 400 or something but the thing about this car, of course, because it’s electric you have all that extra torque from the electric motor it comes on the moment, you floor it and you can really feel it.
The funny thing is you’re, not rewarded with the sound like you are in a normal car. So, even though you’re going fast, it feels like you’re, going fast in a somewhat sporty car, like a Focus. St, but not like an exotic sports car saving this time that feels like a normal car.
We get a/c blowing. We get the nice BMW infotainment, just like in all the other modern, BMW cars. There’s there’s, not really a lot of compromises that you have to make for this car. In fact, I would argue that it’s, the exact opposite.
You get all this stuff and you also get this electric range. If you want [ Music ], the car is surprisingly quick. It really is especially everything you hear about i8 o i8. It’s electric and plug it in it’s.
Still, a lot of fun cornering is good. The steering doesn’t quite feel as Vegas other modern BMWs. It’s. It’s, it’s. It’s, actually a little bit less light. The steering is pretty precise. The car corner is quite flat, which is impressive.
I would imagine that’s, because there’s, so much weight at the bottom. With the battery and stuff down there. The seats aren’t very tightly bolstered, but they don’t really have to be. I don’t, find myself really sliding around in corners.
The steering is very good, very precise, not quite at the level of AMG GTR Huracan, the sort of the class of the segment, the craziest high performance cars, but it is good. The steering is nice and quick.
The ride is very comfortable, and I actually this is a benefit of this car. I think anyone who compares it to 911 Turbo and that sort of thing is missing the point a little bit. This is definitely more of a Grand Tour car to me.
It reminds me more of Aston Martin. Now I find it to be more desirable. [, Music, ] yeah. It’s quit getting on the highway here in Florida. It is quick and we’re going fast, but I would say that the benefit of this car to me is that it’s, a comfortable ride, in addition to being a lot of fun yeah it’s fast, just Like a lot of modern sports, cars are no, it doesn’t quite handle it as aggressively and angrily as some of the mid-engine cars, but it’s more comfortable.
I feel like I could sit in this all day, whereas he get in a 488 or something like that. After a while, you just want to die it’s, so harsh [, Music ]. Now, turning around there, I you turn and sort of stepped on it and it breaks loose a little bit, even though it’s, all the drive the car there’s, no doubt about it.
The car is a little bit under tired and the reason for that is, you have to put on sort of economy tires. This is an economy vehicle, it’s, a plug-in hybrid electric car and so BMW struck kind of an interesting balance of having economy tires and having grippy tires everything I’ve, read, says they’ve done a good job, But there is a little wine at the very limit, and so that’s.
The 2019 BMW i8 roadster. This is not the fastest sports car on the market, nor is it the newest design, though I still think it looks pretty futuristic, but it does show us that electric cars can be cool and that the future of the automobile doesn’t have to Be electric pods that automatically drive us around while we scroll through Instagram or take a nap.
This is an electric car and it’s also fun and it’s thrilling and it’s cool and it’s. A real sports car. I just wish other automakers would follow suit. Anyway, now it’s time to give it a dug score, starting with the weekend categories and styling, the i8 is head turning and cool looking, but not necessarily beautiful.
It gets an easy 7 out of 10 acceleration to 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which gives it a 7 out of 10 handling is sharp, but not quite on the level of supercars, and it gets a 7 out of 10. Fun factor is good.
The i8 is enjoyable to drive, but I find it a bit more relaxing than I do thrilling or exciting, and it gets a 6 out of 10. Cool factor is high, though car enthusiasts have gotten used to it, but regular people still freak out when they see the i8 and it gets a 7 out of 10 for a total weekend score of 34 out of 50 next up with the daily categories, starting to Features it has good equipment, but it’s, probably only worthy of a 6.
However, the plug-in hybrid tech gives it a little boost to get a 7 out of 10. Comfort is good. The i8 is nice and relaxed with comfortable seats and a smooth driving experience, and it gets a 6 out of 10, which is pretty high for a car like this next up its quality, which is fine, the insurers.
Nice enough, though, I do worry about long-term reliability and it’s. A 7 out of 10 practicality is abysmal, there are only two seats and the trunk is laughably small and it gets a 2 out of 10. Finally, there’s value.
The i8 is expensive, given its performance numbers, but it’s. Also striking and cool and nice to drive also used examples of the coupe haven’t appreciated as much as I would have expected, so it might hold its value decently.
Well – and it gets a six out of ten for a total daily score of twenty eight out of 50. Add it up in the Doug. Score is 62 out of 100, and you can see how it compares to rivals. It loses to all these cars in the Doug score, but it’s also way cheaper than all these cars, and I’m surprised how well it holds its own.
The i8 may not be perfect and card enthusiasts have been slow to warm up to it because it doesn’t have a big ol v8, but it’s. Proof that the future of the car doesn’t have to be boring, and for that reason alone I think it’s, an excellent car and an important Trailblazer.