2017 BMW i8

Pros: Fuel economy; ride/handling combination; acceleration

Cons: Entry/exit; visibility; cargo space

CG Says: BMW i8 adds a new Protonic Red Edition with unique trim for 2017. Otherwise, i8 is unchanged. The i8 is BMW’s plug-in-hybrid supercar coupe. The 2+2 sports car is powered by a small (but extremely powerful with 228 horsepower) turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor. The gas engine drives the rear wheels while the electric motor drives the front wheels. Together, both put out a combined 357 hp. The i8 is capable of 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 155. While these figures aren’t quick for an exotic sports car, they are impressive when taken in account that the i8 is capable of traveling 15 miles on electric power alone and is EPA rated at 76 MPGe or 28 mpg combined city/highway with gas only. Available features include laser headlights (said to be brighter than LED headlights, but use less power), head-up instrument display, and surround-view cameras. The i8 handles well and also rides comfortably for a sports car. In spite of its scissor doors, the i8 is hard to enter or exit. The small rear seat is best used for storage—especially since there is little cargo room or interior storage. The i8 doesn’t compare well with similarly priced sports cars, but those cars lack the i8’s green factor. If you want to help save the earth and have a little fun in the process, the i8 could be the car for you.

The Facts
Class Premium Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 2-door coupe
Passenger Count 4
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer BMW
Nation of Manufacture Germany
Base Prices Base: $143,400

Base Engine
turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder/electric
Horsepower
357
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic (gas) 2-speed automatic (electric)
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA Combined Range (mpg)
76 MPGe; 28 (gas only)