BMW i8

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Peteski
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BMW i8

Post by Peteski » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:34 pm

I know most people around here would probably favour a 911, but what do you think about a used BMW i8 now they are relatively cheap on the market i.e. £50-60K bracket? Something a little different for someone who's been through a fair few 911s and looking for a change. Perhaps not quite as practical as a 911, but very cheap to run and one of the most interesting sports cars I've seen in a long while. The hybrid drivetrain might put a lot of purists off, but I see that as a benefit in making it extremely versatile for short commutes and longer fun trips alike. It seems to hold its own in most reviews, but would like to try one for myself soon.


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VanB
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Re: BMW i8

Post by VanB » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:07 pm

I know 1 person who owns one and is a bit ambivalent about it (compared to his brother who owns a Tesla Model S and loves it). The sales guy I know at our local (large) BMW dealership says they get a lot of them bounce back very quickly (within 3 months) and they have to heavily discount them to shift them. I guess that tells a story.

I wouldn't want one personally as it is neither one thing nor another and would much rather have a pure EV (maybe a Taycan in time) or a proper ICE sports car (have one).

All you can do is take one for an extended test drive maybe for a weekend and see how it grabs you.

BTW I think most people wouldn't consider a £50-£60k car cheap ;)
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Mike and his Macan
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Re: BMW i8

Post by Mike and his Macan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:26 pm

I think the i8 forum would be a good starting point I have read and heard of owners who are only getting 24mpg average.... plus is it 8 years until the battery needs replacing? Would love to have some one but I just don’t get the “ Buy in , at the moment “ plus like most no where to charge at home.
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Peteski
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Re: BMW i8

Post by Peteski » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:34 pm

VanB wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:07 pm
I know 1 person who owns one and is a bit ambivalent about it (compared to his brother who owns a Tesla Model S and loves it). The sales guy I know at our local (large) BMW dealership says they get a lot of them bounce back very quickly (within 3 months) and they have to heavily discount them to shift them. I guess that tells a story.

I wouldn't want one personally as it is neither one thing nor another and would much rather have a pure EV (maybe a Taycan in time) or a proper ICE sports car (have one).

All you can do is take one for an extended test drive maybe for a weekend and see how it grabs you.

BTW I think most people wouldn't consider a £50-£60k car cheap ;)
For sure a Model S is a more practical daily driver and a fair bit faster in a straight line. Much more torque, loads of practical room inside etc, etc. but about 600 kg heavier so not as agile. There is one guy on the UK Tesla forum who swapped from a Model S to an i8 (just for the sake of a change) and marginally preferred the i8 overall (mainly due to the sharper handling) but he did miss the immense torque of the Model S. As we already have a Tesla Model X, I'm looking for something a bit different and more sporty as a second car. My wife would actually be the main driver and she has a very short 3 mile commute which would be perfect for a PHEV and really bad for an ICE. Crucially for us it also has rear seats for kids like a 911, perhaps even a little bigger.

A Taycan sounds great in theory, but that's going to be well over £100K and probably 2 years or more away unless on the VIP order list. I could be in an i8 at the weekend if I wanted.

Talking of "proper" ICE sports cars, it was actually a McLaren that started off this discussion with my wife. She loves the McLaren looks, but she's a bit intimidated by all the noise and price tag! So I suggested an i8 as they have a similar kind of supercar look, but you can potter around on pure EV when not in the mood. Plus they have the rear kid seats!

It might not be cheap at £50K+ but it's a serious tech fest of carbon composites, PHEV and stunning bodywork so I can believe it cost BMW a bloody fortune to develop and produce! There was a lot of debate on the BMW forums about it being a loss leader even at £110K list price on release in 2014. But looking at used 991s of that vintage, they are a good bit more expensive at equivalent age and mileage, especially if you want AWD too.

As you say, we'll have to drive one before deciding, but it certainly passed the static look and sit in test for both of us!
Last edited by Peteski on Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Peteski
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Re: BMW i8

Post by Peteski » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:40 pm

Mike and his Macan wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:26 pm
I think the i8 forum would be a good starting point I have read and heard of owners who are only getting 24mpg average.... plus is it 8 years until the battery needs replacing? Would love to have some one but I just don’t get the “ Buy in , at the moment “ plus like most no where to charge at home.
Battery warranty is 8 years, but how long it will actually last is still an unknown. I can believe 24 mpg average if thrashing around and not charging the battery, but that would be offset by commuting on EV only. But to be honest consumption is not really a concern given our intended usage. The Jekyll and Hyde powertrain, with supercar looks and tech are the main attractions for us.


Mike and his Macan
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Re: BMW i8

Post by Mike and his Macan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:46 pm

I should have said if I had a shortish commutes and access to a petrol car, I definitely would consider, they are very nice looking, and the reports all seem positive. Good luck and look forward to you’re pics and opinion ,if you decide to.
Macan GTS.Vol/ grey turbo 21s, Bose, Panroof, heated seats and steering wheel, 18 way , red belts, LEDs, light comf mem, privacy , compass, 18 spare wheel, aluminium inserts, auto dim mirrors, smoked,r/rails,p/assi. CAYMAN GTS now 😊


muxty
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Re: BMW i8

Post by muxty » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:08 pm

I would not get into the BMW i8 if it wasn't "the deal of the year". The car is a bit strange and not best at anything. Limited cargo room (almost none), 4-cylinder engine, not very quick, extremely short range on electricity only, etc. And then I'm not very keen on it's looks, but that is of course a personal matter.

I would much rather short term get into a Cayman or Boxster at the same price level and then order a Tesla Model 3 PERFORMANCE. Think that car will be a real gem based on the latest info circulating. It got lower/stiffer suspension, performance brakes, 0-60 in 3,5 sec and doesn't have the overheat issues with the 2170-cells (compared with the 18650 cells in X/S). It will probably be a quite good track car!!


Peteski
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Re: BMW i8

Post by Peteski » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:19 am

muxty wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:08 pm
I would not get into the BMW i8 if it wasn't "the deal of the year". The car is a bit strange and not best at anything. Limited cargo room (almost none), 4-cylinder engine, not very quick, extremely short range on electricity only, etc. And then I'm not very keen on it's looks, but that is of course a personal matter.

I would much rather short term get into a Cayman or Boxster at the same price level and then order a Tesla Model 3 PERFORMANCE. Think that car will be a real gem based on the latest info circulating. It got lower/stiffer suspension, performance brakes, 0-60 in 3,5 sec and doesn't have the overheat issues with the 2170-cells (compared with the 18650 cells in X/S). It will probably be a quite good track car!!
I know where you are coming from. For sure I wouldn't want to pay £100K+ for an i8, but at £50K it starts looking like a far more attractive toy. Also agree entirely on the lack of practicality, especially against a Model S, but we can live with that in this case. Can also live with the relatively "slow" performance on real world roads, providing the handling is good and I believe it is pretty decent and certainly better than a Model S given the huge weight advantage. Looks are totally personal but I think it looks pretty awesome!

Cayman or Boxster make a lot of sense, but crucially no rear child seats so would have to be a 911, which we've done multiple times and to be honest I'm not that in love with the way modern 911s drive unless really pushing on and that means seriously illegal road speeds or on a track. When just cruising around in non-sport auto mode they actually feel pretty gutless, especially coming from a Tesla! At least the i8 has that instant electric torque even when you are just pottering around. Maybe not up to Tesla standard, but still probably a reasonable approximation. If there was a hybrid 911 then that would be pretty interesting!

Also agree about the Model 3 Performance and will probably get one in a couple of years when available to replace whatever we buy in the meantime.

The i8 obviously has a very niche market but I think we might just fit into that niche! My wife enjoyed her last 911, but it wasn't great for a daily 3 mile commute and I only enjoyed it when thrashing it through the gears, which was a bit anti-social to be honest. So the idea of a reasonably quick, reasonably sharp handling, reasonably comfortable and reasonably flexible drivetrain with supercar looks is actually quite appealing. As you rightly say, it's not the best at anything but then there's not much else on the road quite like it either.

I'll try and get a test drive soon and see how that goes. If that doesn't go well I might just sack it and get a used Model S, but we don't really need another large family wagon and I enjoy a bit of variety. A Model X and an i8 just seems a little more interesting to me. I'm just wondering how well the hybrid drivetrain works in practice now I've been spoilt by the Tesla EV. I'm hoping it feels at least as quick in a straight line as our Model X75D, but Bjorn's S75D vs i8 drag race and rolling start test didn't exactly do the BMW any favours! But then power and straight line acceleration isn't everything in a road going sportscar, so I'm still hopeful!


alxgb
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Re: BMW i8

Post by alxgb » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:33 am

Peteski wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:34 pm
I know most people around here would probably favour a 911, but what do you think about a used BMW i8 now they are relatively cheap on the market i.e. £50-60K bracket? Something a little different for someone who's been through a fair few 911s and looking for a change. Perhaps not quite as practical as a 911, but very cheap to run and one of the most interesting sports cars I've seen in a long while. The hybrid drivetrain might put a lot of purists off, but I see that as a benefit in making it extremely versatile for short commutes and longer fun trips alike. It seems to hold its own in most reviews, but would like to try one for myself soon.
Like you, I had considered one for a similar set of reasons and being in and out of London, forgetting about the C-charge and so forth put a twist on the economic argument. More exciting and interesting than a cooking model 911 at that price point.

Personally, I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole. I think I've said as much on different threads. Get one for an extended test drive - like a week and then make the decision. I'd be surprised if you didn't arrive at the same sort of viewpoint as me after that time.

They are not practical in terms of storage - there appears to be a lot of ill thought out space. The glass divider in the rear section is the most illogical inclusion. I assume to improve cabin noise but it's a hindrance to putting a bag of any reasonable size in the car. I pack tight and am not a Mariah Carey type with a caravan of bags but if you had a couple of carry on hard shells, you'd be strapping them into the rear seats as passengers.

I have broad shoulders and am used to Porsche folding buckets and the 918 style bucket seats which are fine but the upper part of the seat shape narrows to the point of not providing support and over distance, I really found them uncomfortable. Uncomfortable I don't want to get back in the car and drive it type uncomfortable.

The doors are great and I really like the theatre of them but try a supermarket car park, not even one with tight spaces. If you drive it in winter, you'll end up with all the road grime across your back and sides as you slide/shuffle/sidle out the vehicle. Jeans with any studs on them would be out as you'd end up scratching the body work. When every journalist talks about practicality, I do wonder if that just means they've driven them in an urban environment and over a speed bump and little else.

I think the convertible might improve practicality in some aspects but obviously you wouldn't be at the same price point. If I was you, I'd have a look at the new car and compare the differences - that'll lend a clue as to recognised failure points or where technology has marched on.

I was getting around 44MPG as an average MPG, particularly on long runs where the petrol motor had to kick in.

I sound overly negative and there are a great many things to commend the car but it's at the innovator/early adopter stage in its life cycle and as an engineering achievement, it's fantastic but you have to live with it.


Peteski
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Re: BMW i8

Post by Peteski » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:10 am

Thanks for the comments alxgb. Those are the sort of concerns I have too. I'm not too fussed about lack of storage space, but it sounds like it might even struggle to do a quick trip to the supermarket or the school run. My wife has had a couple of 911s as daily drivers and they've been practical enough for mundane chores and short day trips out with the kids. We're lucky enough to have some great local driving roads too, so I always appreciated the 911 handling and performance. I was hoping an i8 would work in a similar way, but not so sure now.

Only a long test drive is going to answer whether or not we can live with the i8 on a daily basis. I'll look out for some of the points you mention. My wife is already having second thoughts, but she does want another proper sports car and and EV, so there really isn't a lot of options that tick both those boxes! A Tesla Model S is still a possibility (although a bit too big/heavy) and the Model 3 Performance is not available for another year or two.


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