BMW 2019 i8 Review: Driving yesterday’s car of tomorrow, today

TechCrunch | 7/10/2019 | Staff
Celtics2212 (Posted by) Level 3
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The BMW i8 is a lovely vehicle to drive even though it’s lacking. It hugs the road and commands attention. It’s thrilling in a way that few cars can achieve without speed. Sure, it’s quick, but it won’t set track records or quarter mile times. It just feels great to drive.

By the numbers, there’s little reason to buy a $164,000 BMW i8 Roadster. Want speed? Buy a Porsche 911 Turbo for $161k or Corvette ZR1 for $123k or Nissan GT-R for $112k. Supercar aesthetics? Get an Acura NSX for $157k. Want all electric? Get a Tesla Model S. All are faster and cheaper than the BMW i8.

BMW - I8 - Stone - BMW - History

The BMW i8 is just a stepping stone in BMW’s history. An oddball. It’s a limited edition vehicle to try out new technology. From what I can tell, BMW never positioned the i8 as a top seller or market leader. It was an engineer’s playground. I love it.

BMW released the first i8 in 2014 when the automotive scene looked different. Tesla was still a fledgling startup with only the Model S in its lineup. GM was working on the second generation Chevy Volt. Hybrid powertrains seemed to be the answer, and BMW followed suit with the dual-power in the i8.

I8 - Vegas - LA - Epic - Adventure

In 2015 I took the just-launched i8 from Vegas to LA in an epic, one-day adventure that took me through the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park. It was a great way to appreciate the i8, and now that the model is on its way out, I wanted another go in the car.

This time, I had an i8 tester for a week. I took my kids to school in it, I got groceries with it, and in between rain storms, I lived my best life with the top down on in this $164,000 droptop.

It’s...
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