Three years after its South African launch, the BMW i8 has not lost any of its lustre as it still commands a great deal of attention wherever it goes and the Roadster variant on test this week just exponentially pushes those attributes to dizzying heights.

Of course, there is more to the i8 Roadster than its irreproachable design as it remains the only plug-in hybrid sportscar in its segment; that is, until the new Porsche 911 hybrid arrives at some point. For now though, the model can rightly claim to being one of the pioneers in its segment and it is with this in mind that you need to approach the vehicle. Yes, it is powered by a tiny (by sportscar standards) 1.5l, three-cylinder, turbo petrol engine located midship behind the cabin that thumps out a punchy 170kW and 320Nm, but it is augmented on the front axle by an electric motor with 105kW and 250Nm, which together essentially give the vehicle four-wheel drive traction. The combined system power is 275kW and 570Nm, enough...

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