Wow – Roadster’s a super stunner
I am on the final bend of my motoring articles for the Tenerife News and my test drives ended with a stunning BMW model.
The company describes its i8 as the sports car of the future in the showrooms today.
You can’t really argue with this statement as it is full of wow factor in appearance and performance.
The i8 has been the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car since it arrived back in 2014.
And the Coupe has now been joined by a Roadster, offering super open-top or roof-on driving thrills.
We were into autumn when I got my first taste of the Roadster and a sunny day allowed me to sample it with the roof up and down.
You can’t fail to be impressed by its looks with the gleaming test car a stunning E-Copper colour with Frozen Grey metallic highlights.
The wow factor continues as you open the gullwing doors.
There’s a knack to getting in and out of the low-seated i8 – you don’t want to be stumbling out and in as onlookers gather to admire the car.
A one-motion swing of the legs and exit appeared to work for me though.
The sports cabin shares the same sunning looks as the exterior as well as its E-Copper colour.
Press the start button and you can pull away quietly with power coming from the electric motor.
Or you can put your foot down and bullet the Roadster to 62mph in a blistering time of just 4.6 seconds.
The i8 is powered by a hybrid synchronous electric motor and a three-cylinder petrol turbo engine.
The engine feeds the power through a six-speed steptronic transmission while the electric motor drives the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox.
The electric motor has a peak output of 143hp with the 231hp 1.5-litre engine taking the combination to 374hp.
There are five driving modes – hybrid with comfort, sport or eco and all-electric comfort and eco.
I mostly tested the car in sport mode where the power units deliver extra-sharp performance, accelerator response and electric motor power boost.
Driving along a route involving lost of winding, country roads, I tested this all-wheel drive Roadster to the full and it really stuck to the tarmac.
A blast on longer stretches let me sample the power but far from its full extent as this i8 has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
Power comes quickly when needed in auto mode and you can also switch to manual with the paddle controls, pushing revs to the maximum and hearing the engine roar.
The roof is a masterpiece on its own – an all-season soft-top with high-level soundproofing.
Without the Coupe’s two rear seats, the roof folds into the rear of this two-seater Roadster, leaving an additional 100 litres of storage space between the roof box and seats.
The movement is almost silent as it opens and closes in less than 15 seconds – and at speeds up to 31mph.
With the roof down, the thrill factor is increased and there was little air turbulance in the cabin.
My drive in this supercar ended all too quickly and I will miss the fun and delight of driving top models like this BMW i8 Roadster.
If you fancy buying one, the range starts at £124,735.
The test car had some expensive options, including £4,250 laser lights, taking the total cost of this beauty to a whopping £135,810.
In my final article in the next News edition I’ll highlight the cars that reached the podium in the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers’ Car of the Year awards.