Best car

BMW i8: the hybrid supercar

The i8 represents a new era of hybrid supercar. But, says expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel, where other pioneers have quickly been overtaken by their successors, the superb engineering behind the i8 looks set to stand the test of time

BMW i8

This model from £104,540

Look at the BMW i8 and you may think you are seeing into the future. Drive one and you know you are. A supercar unlike any created to date, others will have either to follow its lead, or risk irrelevance. Who’d have thought a car powered in part by batteries, and in part by a three-cylinder engine designed for a Mini could deliver such stirring performance or such an electrifying soundtrack? And no, of course it won’t do 134mpg as claimed, but well over 40mpg is easily achievable in normal use, close to double what you might expect from its thirstier competitors.

And it’ll do better than that if you plug it in at night and travel to work using its 16-mile all electric range. No wonder second hand cars are more expensive than new, and that the waiting list is almost two years long.


  • Engine: 1499cc, 357bhp
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 4.4sec


  • Claimed economy: 134.5mpg
  • VED: Group A
  • Insurance Group: 50 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

3 / 5
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5 / 5