The supercar that won’t cost the Earth

With BMW's new i8 Roadster, hair shirts are no longer a necessity for eco-warriors, says Sarah Moore.

896_MW_P38_Toys

Hair shirts are no longer a necessity for eco-warriors, says Sarah Moore.

"As a general rule of thumb, mid-engined exotica and environmental friendliness go together like a room full of lambs and a very hungry wolf," says What Car. However, the new BMW i8 Roadster allows you to "get yourself a flash set of wheels while giving the Earth a nice big hug".

To drive, the Roadster is admittedly not much different from an i8 Coup, "but with the option to test some sun cream and hair care products", says Stuart Gallagher in Evo. Indeed, "if you're hoping the new i8 has been transformed into a precise, 911-esque supercar, you're going to be disappointed", says Curtis Moldrich in Car. However, the driving experience is "significantly better this time around". The old coup's "slightly vague", fast steering has been replaced by a wheel that gives far more feedback than before, the brakes are more intuitive, and the change from energy regeneration to physical braking feels "relatively seamless".

The i8's EV-only mode, with a B-road friendly top speed, isn't a tacked-on afterthought, says Moldrich it's another, fully developed side to the car's personality. It's obviously not as quick as using both petrol and electric power, but it allows you to experience a totally different style of driving. A benefit of the larger-capacity battery cells is that the i8 Roadster will now happily drive along under electric power alone at speeds up to 75mph, says Gallagher, with a range of up to 33 miles.

"Oh, and the butterfly doors return too," says Moldrich. "Great for supercar drama, less so for finding a parking space."

Engine: 3-cylinder, turbo-charged 1.4 litre engineand 105kW electric motor; Power: petrol 228bhp;electric 141bhp. Torque: petrol 236 lb ft; electric 184 lb ft.Top speed: 155mph. 0-62mph: 4.6 seconds.Price: £124,735.

Recommended

Today's art markets are a paradise for bargain hunters
Alternative investments

Today's art markets are a paradise for bargain hunters

Now is an ideal time for collectors to go shopping at the art auctions. 
29 Nov 2019
Investing in art: where to find the best value in the art market today
Alternative investments

Investing in art: where to find the best value in the art market today

It’s been a record-breaking ten years for the art market – even Old Masters of questionable provenance are selling for hundreds of millions. But where…
15 Nov 2019
The art market endures after a jittery 2019
Alternative investments

The art market endures after a jittery 2019

Wealthy Americans stepped up to help calm the art market's jitters in 2019. Chris Carter reports.
10 Jan 2020
Hi-tech help with New Year’s resolutions
Spending it

Hi-tech help with New Year’s resolutions

From a sports watch that monitors your heart rate to a subscription service to help you cook healthier meals.
31 Dec 2019

Most Popular

How will we repay our vast debt pile? Do we even need to?
Sponsored

How will we repay our vast debt pile? Do we even need to?

In his recent articles looking at different aspects of the fixed-income investing world, David Stevenson looked at inflation. Today he looks at a clos…
19 Oct 2020
The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm
Bitcoin

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm

The Bank of England could win the race to create a respectable digital currency if it moves quickly, says Matthew Lynn.
18 Oct 2020
Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020