BMW i8 Long-Term Test Review: Final Report

The BMW i8 is an advanced plug-in hybrid car from the German manufacturer BMW. This production version made headlines at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Subsequently, BMW released it in Germany in June 2014. This delivery to retail customers in the United States began in August 2014. A follow-up i8 version was launched in May 2018. Let us discuss the complete BMW i8 review i.e. BMW i8. Long-term trial review: final report. This will indicate to a great extent this luxurious car model of BMW.

There were sure signs that BMW was thinking about a new sports car in early 2009. The idea didn’t extend to hatchbacks or saloons only. Instead, it was taking the form of a low but sleek sports car. The dramatic glass doors were cut low and its bodywork was largely sculpted mainly around the wheels and roof. While some of the more extreme colors, lights, and details eventually faded, the subject matter remained admirably consistent.

Overview of the BMW i8 Car

The BMW i8 looks amazing with minimal drag and shape-work for efficiency. It combines artistically pleasing flamboyance with a flourish. The power train and car structure are unconventional pairings with the Brave styling. A 231bhp petrol engine drives the rear wheels using a six-speed automatic gearbox. A large 143bhp electric motor drives the front wheels. This mechanism allows three distinct types of propulsion to the i8. In the sports mode, the AWD sports car drives with unmatched performance to match BMW’s car M4. Hybrid mode is super-efficient as well as peaceful. The BMW i8 can travel solely electrically up to speeds of 75mph. It makes use of the plug-in battery reserve for achieving this.

The Roadster has a three-layer electric cloth roof, weather-sealed and quiet. This adds another feature to this amazing BMW car. Navigating silently through a city in the electric mode with the roof down gives a robust and peaceful experience. With roof-up in sports mode, you will get to know its feel with proper all-weather ground cover.

BMW i8 – Complete Review & Specfications

Let us do a complete BMW i8 review right from its specifications, design, economy, and price range point of view.

BMW i8: Specifications

The BMW i8 has a plug-in hybrid engine. As per BMW, the car can go around 40 km with a single charge. While this is close but after some driving tests, it can go about 33-34 km only. When the numbers from BMW claim the same for the gas engine mileage, it is closed. The actual figure has a minor difference from the claimed mileage as compared to the tested one.

The BMW i8 car has a 6-speed transmission for the petrol variant whereas a 2-speed automatic transmission for the electric one. The electric engine derives its power through a 34 Ah battery. The company has accumulated the power of the electric engine from 12 hp to 142-143 hp.

Detailed Specs:

  • Engine: 1499cc Turbo, Electric Motor
  • Transmission: 2-speed auto, 6-speed auto
  • Power (bhp): 357-369 based on version
  • Torque (lb-ft): 236 engine, 184 motor
  • Weight: 1535kg to 1595kg
  • Power-to-weight: 235 to 244bhp/ton based on version
  • 0-62mph: 4.4 sec
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • Price: BMW i8 price range is $147,500 – $163,300

Design & Engineering of BMW i8

Let’s start with the design, which is eye-popping and dramatic when at a standstill. It is even more spectacular when the dihedral doors open upwards.

The interior of the car has a futuristic feeling. The BMW i8 successfully combines interior designs with the popular levels of BMW functionality. In addition, there is a luggage compartment behind the engine. Although this doesn’t have much space, especially with the two charging cables stored in it. So the exterior looks amazing and spectacular, whereas the interior feels like a special place to be. The interior of the car has a futuristic feeling. The BMW i8 successfully combines interior designs with the popular levels of BMW functionality. In addition, there is a luggage compartment behind the engine. Although this doesn’t have much space, especially with the two charging cables stored in it. So the exterior looks amazing and spectacular, whereas the interior feels like a special place to be. Interestingly, it’s under the skin that advanced technology is present.

The i8 is a plug-in hybrid. It has a petrol engine that combines with a 6-speed Steptronic transmission. It also has an electric motor with a two-speed automatic gearbox. The energy capacity of the i8’s lithium-ion battery is around 34Ah in the latest versions. Also, the electric motor’s highest output is 143 hp.

Now the important thing is the way the BMW i8 puts its power down on the road. The petrol engine gives power to the rear wheels of the car, while the electric motor gives power to the wheels at the front. When both propulsion systems combine, it results in an all-wheel drive. Although there are two power trains in it, the BMW i8 has a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell. This helps to keep the vehicle’s weight down to around 1,534 kg.

BMW i8 Driving Experience

The BMW i8 can drive up to 34 miles easily around town as a pure electric car. That also with zero emissions from the tailpipe. The EV button can be used as per choice to make sure that the i8 doesn’t fire up the petrol engine. When it is not used, then the car runs in the hybrid model. It will select one of the petrol engines or the electric one with a battery. This also means that the petrol engine can be used for most driving. At lower speeds, you can easily drive on electric power.

The BMW i8 also comes equipped with a switch that gives options of two drive modes. These modes are Comfort and the Eco Pro. Normal driving is fine in Comfort mode. But, if you’re looking to maximize the economy on a long motorway run, then Eco Pro will be a better option. As a result, the BMW i8 car is driven either normally or economically, on petrol, or battery, or both. While on electric power, the BMW i8 car is quite silent and refined. However, performing the car is superb in petrol and hybrid modes.

The automatic transmission present in the BMW i8 does an excellent job. In Sport mode, you can change gear manually using the steering wheel-mounted paddles. This is recommended for maximum driver interaction. BMW’s Infomedia system also needs a mention. It’s the best in the business as compared to similar infotainment options. Thanks to the rotary dial, it’s still one of the few systems that allow you to effortlessly zoom in and out of the map.

BMW i8 Fuel Economy & The Emissions

The fuel economy for the BMW i8 is 148.9 mpg with CO2 at 43 g/km. The electric driving range is 34 miles. Like other similar plug-in vehicles, the i8 has to be plugged in to charge it. The first preference is the home charger, but fast public chargers around the roadside can also be used as per the availability. The BMW i8 is well equipped with a 7.1 kWh battery having an overall capacity of 5.2 kWh, coupled with intelligent management of energy. This delivers an all-electric range of 37 km. The range in EV mode is around 15 miles, and the total range is 330 miles.

The fuel efficiency of the BMW i8 is 2.2 L/100 km along with carbon reading emissions of 49 g/km. The i8 combined fuel economy is rated 76 equivalent, along with an estimated energy consumption of around 43 kW-hrs/100 miles. The Gasoline consumption is 0.1 gal/100 miles. The combined fuel economy when it is running only with gasoline once the battery is empty is 28 mpg for normal city driving. It is 29 mpg on the highway. The EV mode utility factor for BMW i8 stands at 37%.

BMW i8 Long-Term Test Review: Final Report & Verdict

There’s nothing like the BMW i8. Its spectacular complexity comes from the requirement to build a new-age robust sports car. What makes it great is the multiple dimensions of its personality. It’ll glide along your favorite road along the mountains. Also, it will soften up and quieten down on the long motorway. Under electric power, it glides along smoothly like a bicycle. If you’re stuck somewhere, hybrid mode isn’t only hygienic, but it’s fascinating too in its unique way. In addition, the new open versions add another layer of class design. It gives a great sense of the nearby surroundings that you are traveling through in your car.

Once you are inside the BMW i8 car, you are all set for a much more comfortable experience. The seats get full support, as well they are foible-free. Also, road noise isn’t too intrusive, and the climate control effortlessly maintains the expected temperature. Other features of the BMW i8 are impressive too. Its average fuel consumption hovered around the 35mpg mark.

The Style 470 wheels of i8 make it look more supercar than an eco-car. Also, the Carpo Carum Grey interior is brighter and more inviting. No complaints about its splendid performance. The charismatic and boastful triple surely provides plenty of punch. In addition, the Aisin AW-sourced six-speed automatic delivers swift, crisp shifts. The BMW i8 braking system sometimes responds slowly, but some sharp stops and getting a little heat into the hydraulic side of the system will wake them up.


The crucial question now is why should you buy a BMW i8? Well, for those spectacular looks along with its hybrid tech. If your commute is short, and you can perfectly use the all-electric drive, it has its appeal. It’s an intriguing car but one that doesn’t deliver enough on the dynamic and efficiency front to justify its premium. This is particularly when you consider its weak residuals. That was all about the BMW i8 Long-Term Test Review: Final Report. Hope you find value in this information.