The few reviews that have crossed my desk have not been very revealing. This one deserves some scrutiny.
This is how Kamil Kaluski begins his article: “This is the car that people in the 1970s predicted we would be driving in the year 2000. Fifteen years after the turn of the millennium, the BMW i8 is the machine that looks like no other BMW — and certainly like no other car on the road. Its gasoline and plug-in electric powertrain compliment its looks, bringing together the efficiency of an electric car and the convenience of an internal combustion engine.”
Having read this item I have a clear idea how this car works and how it feels to drive. I didn’t before. Further, the photos are quite easy to ‘read’. Press images I’ve seen have been really difficult to interpret due to excessive Photoshoppery. In particular, the interior is hard to make out as it is quite a complex design as this image demonstrates:
Now that I can see it clearly I still think it’s fussy and contrived. I’d love for it to be very, very simple, with one grace note. As it is it looks like tagliatelli. Never mind that, the i8 is a rarity among high-performance cars, for me at least, in that it’s genuinely a vehicle I’d want to see in the metal and plastic and GRP. I also enjoy the exterior styling which does provide a visual receipt for the tech underneath. Finally, it points towards the possibility of
hybrid cars and electric cars developing their own intrinsic interest. If this is what BMW can do, could there not be something very exciting possible from Bristol, for example, who are working on a vehicle with an alternative power train? The powerplant, interestingly, is being provided by BMW as this press release from June reveals. It is earnestly to be hoped that Bristol can find a way to give a meaningfully modern form to the Pinnacle. I don’t expect it to be as finely honed as the i8. But there is a lot of room to develop something that fits with the new power system and can move Bristol into the future.