First Impressions – BMW i8 Hits Los Angeles Streets

Posted by: Kenny Chan onApril 30th, 2014


It’s a car that looks like it was just unveiled by a manufacturer as their latest concept vehicle, one that would certainly never enter production. The BMW i8 has defied all reasoning and has not only entered production, but has been hitting the roads. Here, Chris Harris takes the i8 out for a rip on some canyon roads just outside of Los Angeles and shares his thoughts on how it drives. He also tested in a more conventional scenario taking the i8 through traffic and for a quick bite at In-N-Out.

To refresh, the BMW i8 is powered by a turbo-charged 1.5L 3-cylinder gasoline engine that pumps out 231 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Decent, but definitely not what you want powering a sports car of any sort. Coupled to the front wheels is an electric motor that provides a further 131 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque for a combined total of 362 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. That’s more like it! The hybrid powerplant is capable of rocketing the i8 from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds thanks in part to its roughly 3200lb weight. Oh, and it does all this while only consuming just 2.5L / 100km.

For those of you who are looking forward to some hooning, remember that this was filmed on open public roads. Another note is the tire choice for this particular test. The BMW i8 is typically equipped with some narrow rubber (195 fronts and 215 rears) but this particular model that Chris Harris took out was equipped with the optional 215s up front and 245s in the rear.

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