Driving the future with the BMW i8 Roadster
The i8 is a thing of beauty and an utter pleasure to drive. It is a hybrid supercar that looks the part of its pedigree
BMW i8 Roadster
Cool factor 5/5
Value for money 4/5
The disquieting thing about the BMW i8 Roadster is that, despite its raw power and incredible torque, it is almost silent — almost, because of the sound of air whooshing past.
I know very little about the innards of a combustion engine, despite admiring what this great technology has done to advance humanity. But I do love to drive and despite what my wife says I drive pretty well.
The i8 is the best car I have ever driven. It is a thing of beauty and an utter pleasure to drive. It is a hybrid supercar that looks the part of its pedigree (and R2.3m price tag). This is the second model from the German carmaker and features a retractable roof which unfurls in under 20 seconds. It has the same scissor-style doors as the previous coupé, which slide up with soundless elegance. It has head-turning style.
To anyone who hasn’t driven a supercar, it’s kind of like riding one of those seated bikes at the gym. Your body is more horizontal than upright and you need to perfect the bum-first, swing-feet style of getting in.
Once you’re seated it is like driving the future. This isn’t a car similar to everyday models with an electric engine; the i8 is unique.
For petrolheads, it has 275kW of power and 570Nm of torque, and it will rip 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds.
For the rest of us, it’s a spectacular car that combines an electric engine with BMW’s superior integration of the new software and services of its brilliant Connected Drive. It also works with Apple and Android apps. And it is the ideal car for load-shedding, especially if you have a solar panel at home.