The 2020 BMW i8 appears to meet all requirements for the supercar designation. It has unusual flip-up doors that are challenging to use. It is constructed of carbon fiber. High-end materials are used throughout the inside, and on the list of available materials are items like ivory-white perforated leather. Even the i8 is available with laser headlights. However, there is one feature that sets the i8 apart from the majority of supercars now on the market: it is a hybrid.
Hybrid sports cars are becoming more popular thanks to the performance-enhancing properties of electricity, but the 2020 BMW i8 is more about looking fast than going fast. Still, the BMW delivers a spectacular entrance, whether its dihedral doors open to the hardtop coupe or the open-top convertible.
One of two key pillars in the launch of BMW’s sustainable i brand, the all-wheel-drive i8 combines eye-catching futuristic looks with hybrid performance and sports car performance. The convertible model claims the title of being the only plug-in hybrid convertible on the market.
While its plug-in powertrain is admirably powerful—and faster than lesser hybrids—you’re more likely to see a tear around a Whole Foods parking lot than at the track in your locality.
The 2020 BMW i8 is useful every day thanks to a smooth ride and comfy front seats, but its small storage area and restricted cabin access would put most people off.
The 2020 BMW i8 is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, electric motor, 11.6-kWh battery, and all-wheel drive, unlike the supercharged V8 or V12. The i8 is a plug-in hybrid; that much is certain. It boasts a hybrid powertrain that produces 369 horsepower, making it reasonably speedy, and it has an estimated 18-mile all-electric range, according to the EPA.
BMW increased the lithium-ion battery pack’s capacity from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh for 2019. It gives the i8 an additional 18 miles of all-electric driving range. A Level 2 charger (240-volt household or 208-volt commercial) takes three hours to fully charge a device. Although the EPA rates the 2020 Coupe and Roadster at 69 MPGe. Also, the 2020 BMW i8’s appeal extends beyond its fuel efficiency. The i8, like the i3, is a symbol of the brand’s dedication to advancing technology and its capacity to put them in an intriguing, though divisive, contemporary wrapping.
2020 BMW i8: Specifications for Trim
The i8 has a limited number of options, but regardless of the selection, it is jam-packed with high-tech and luxurious features. All i8 Coupes are equipped with all-wheel drive as well as 20-inch wheels, scissor doors, LED lighting, leather upholstery, carbon fiber interior accents, parking assist, an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with navigation and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster, a color head-up display, and BMW’s iDrive system with a touchpad controller. For $6,300, you can choose adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight technology, and an aerodynamic kit costs $500.
The Roadster offers a little extra storage but does away with the little back seats.
2020 BMW i8: EV Motor, Power, and Performance
The 2020 BMW i8 only comes with one available engine. This car has an 11.6 kWh battery, two electric motors, and a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged gas engine. All four wheels can be moved by the trio of engines combined. The i8 has the same soft steering we’ve complained about in other recent BMW models.
The 2020 BMW i8 has an exotic design and, for the most part, the performance to back it up. As long as the automobile is in sport mode, acceleration is swift. The i8 accelerated from zero to sixty kilometers per hour in our tests in 4.3 seconds. It gets more common in the other driving modes. It’s also important to note how much faster today’s other performance vehicles are.
The i8’s grabby brakes and observable switch from electric to combustion engine power can make it appear awkward in city traffic. Simply put, it’s not a very smooth car to drive. The i8 is more enjoyable to drive on open roads. The car’s handling limits are manageable, despite being a little bit modest.
2020 BMW i8: Comfort
The i8’s sleek exterior style could lead you to believe that it will take a lot of dedication to put up with. Also appearing uncomfortable are the seats. However, appearances can be deceiving because the i8 has comfortable seats (for two, at least) and, at least in terms of performance cars, a smooth and compliant ride.
The roadway noise more than makes up for the lack of wind noise. Especially on the highway, it never stops. You’ll need to turn up the sound system to block it out. The climate control system is good. There are numerous air vents and a powerful air conditioner.
At first glance, it’s easy to underestimate how straightforward the i8’s interior is. Anyone who has driven a BMW in the past ten years will feel right at home operating the i8 because BMW kept the controls simple. We don’t mind at all that the interior isn’t quite as futuristic as the exterior. Just focus on the enjoyable aspect of driving. Excellent and accommodating to a variety of body types is the driving position. Excellent forward visibility.
You’ll either enjoy getting in and out or dread it. The upward-opening doors are simple to open and shut. But getting in needs a little bit of a slide down, and getting out really can’t be done gracefully. However, it might be worthwhile if all you care about is how awesome the doors are.
The more outdated iDrive system on the i8 may not have the dazzle of a more modern competitor’s interface, but it surely does the job. The audio system does a fantastic job of going loud without losing clarity or balance, and the navigation is quick to use and simple to read on the move.
In this pricing bracket, the i8 falls short on several counts. In addition to Apple CarPlay’s need for a subscription after a free one-year trial, Android Auto is not supported. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and high-speed emergency braking are among the more modern, practically universal driver aids that are not available on the i8. Indeed, low-speed emergency braking and forward collision warnings are provided. Both of those systems, fortunately, are not particularly delicate.
Nobody will accuse the i8 of being particularly practical, but because of its effective use of cargo space, it can serve as a daily driver. Its trunk area, which is 4.7 cubic feet, can accommodate three grocery bags. That’s more than the Acura NSX but less than what you’d receive from an Audi R8 or Mercedes AMG GT.
Despite how useless they may seem, the i8 benefits from having back seats. They also serve as an internal rack for bulkier goods like jackets and backpacks. Even the center console has some storage space, but don’t count on it to accommodate anything more than a phone, some charging cords, and some sunglasses.
With an EPA-estimated 18 miles of all-electric range and then 27 mpg in combined city/highway driving once the battery is drained, the BMW i8 has some respectable green-car credentials. The majority of the fuel tanks in our test car returned north of 27 mpg, living up to their projections. And it still had about 5 miles of full electric range left after 15-mile runs at highway speeds.
Like any plug-in hybrid, efficiency can be significantly impacted by how you drive, where you go, and how frequently you plug in to recharge. The hybrid battery can be recharged using a Level 2 charger in around three hours. It will take around eight hours to use a typical 120-volt household plug.
Connectivity and Information
Owners of less luxurious BMWs will be accustomed to the i8’s infotainment system. The 8.8-inch touchscreen mounted atop the dashboard is a sharp-looking display for the system, which is essentially user-friendly. On all i8 models, Apple CarPlay is available as standard equipment; however, Android Auto is not.
The BMW i8 is a one-of-a-kind and intensely fascinating vehicle on many levels. The i8 is a pleasurable vehicle with substantial limits, offering a smooth ride and a substantial range of capabilities. The i8 can feel awkward when not in use or when charging at home. Most of the i8’s shortcomings are brought to light while driving in sluggish traffic.