Used BMW i8 assessment | Auto Specific


BMW has a popularity for constructing no-compromise vehicles, however when it unveiled the i8 idea in 2011, there have been many who doubted the German model would actually put something so outlandish into manufacturing.

Simply three years later, nonetheless, we noticed the road-ready i8 Coupé, which regarded little completely different from that present automobile. With its futuristic design, cutting-edge know-how and sensible dynamics, the i8 was usually BMW, however this was a automobile with financial system at its coronary heart.

To that finish, a lot of the accessible energy got here from a twin-turbo 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine tuned to present 228bhp. This drove the rear wheels, whereas the entrance wheels had been powered by a 129bhp electrical motor. The consequence was 357bhp, with CO2 emissions of simply 49g/km and official gasoline financial system of greater than 100mpg. Deeply spectacular. 

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  • • BMW i8 Mk1 (2014-date) – Hello-tech flagship supercar affords beautiful seems to be and excellent financial system.

BMW i8

Historical past

The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Coupé hit UK roads in July 2014, priced from £94,845 as soon as the £5,000 Authorities grant had been deducted. There was one specification, with all vehicles that includes a 20Ah battery pack that allowed an electrical vary of as much as 23 miles. Consumers may order an iWallbox charging system for simply £315 (after a 75 per cent Authorities grant), which may cost the i8 from zero to 80 per cent in solely two hours.

In January 2018 an upgraded i8 Coupé arrived, together with the i8 Roadster, costing £112,730 and £124,730 respectively. A brand new 34Ah battery pack gave an electrical vary of as much as 33 miles and laser headlights joined the choices checklist, at a hefty £5,100.

BMW i8 evaluations

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BMW i8 assessment
BMW i8 Roadster assessment

Which one ought to I purchase?

All i8s are mechanically the identical, other than any updates already talked about. Each one options an automated transmission so it’s only a query of homing in on the perfect spec in your wants, and whether or not you need a Coupé or Roadster – taking into consideration the latter carries a big value premium.

Predictably, all i8s get loads of hi-tech and luxurious equipment, together with adaptive cruise management, adaptive LED headlights, navigation, 20-inch alloy wheels, a head-up show, parking sensors entrance and rear, automated lights and wipers, metallic paint and electrically adjustable heated entrance seats.

The choices checklist isn’t all that intensive and consists primarily of various colors and finishes, nevertheless it’s price pinning down what extras are fitted to any potential buy; surround-view cameras and the upgraded Harman Kardon hi-fi are price having.

Options to the BMW i8

The i8’s closest rival is the Honda NSX, a petrol-electric supercar that prices greater than the BMW; costs begin at £100,000. The NSX has a twin-turbo V6 engine boosted by three electrical motors, however solely two seats; if you need extra, the Tesla Mannequin S gives loads of thrills with sensible packaging, and costs of used examples begin at £35,000.

There are additionally loads of standard petrol-engined alternate options, not least the Porsche 911, which is in plentiful provide, brilliantly constructed and accessible with all kinds of physique and transmission choices. Alternatively you would go for a Jaguar F-Kind, Aston Martin Vantage or Audi R8, all of which are available in coupé or convertible kinds.

What to search for

EV vary

Early i8s can attain speeds of as much as 75mph in EV mode and their vary is formally 23 miles, however count on 10-15 miles in actuality.


An eight-year guarantee covers the i8’s battery pack, however up to now there have been no studies of 1 needing to get replaced for any motive. 


LED lights come as customary, however contemplating the automobile’s value and efficiency, they don’t mild the way in which in addition to one may count on.


You’ll be able to’t park in very tight areas as a result of the ‘butterfly’ doorways open extensively. Park too shut to a different automobile and you’ll’t get in or out.


The cabin is superbly made and fantastically designed, nevertheless it doesn’t really feel as futuristic as you may count on. Nevertheless, the upside to that is that it’s very straightforward to dwell with. There’s seating for 4, nevertheless it’s very cramped within the second row. You’re higher off utilizing this house for carrying baggage – not least as a result of the boot is definitely smaller than a Volkswagen up!’s, with a capability of simply 154 litres.


You should buy an almost new BMW i8 for between £50,000 and £82,950 on our sister web site BuyaCar.

Operating prices

Service intervals for the i8 are each two years or 18,000 miles, alternating between minor and main at £372 and £1,017 respectively. Till early 2018 all i8s got here with a five-year upkeep bundle; it was first minimize to a few years, then BMW distributed with it altogether.

These prices are excessive, however they’re not outrageous for a automobile with the i8’s efficiency. The key service contains new gasoline struts for the doorways (at £145) and a substitute drive belt at £444; this isn’t a timing belt as a result of the engine is chain-driven. Using long-life coolant means substitute isn’t obligatory, whereas the brake fluid needs to be renewed each two years for £68.


The i8 has had three remembers. Vehicles constructed as much as September 2014 suffered from potential gasoline leaks; a brand new tank was wanted. An influence steering sensor difficulty led to a recall in December 2015; sure i8s constructed within the previous two months wanted recalibrating. Some i8s constructed between August and November 2016 have airbags that would fail to deploy appropriately; defective modules had been changed. 

Driver Energy proprietor satisfaction

The i8 is simply too area of interest a car to get into our Driver Energy surveys, however BMW’s 25th place out of 30 automobile makers in our 2019 producers’ survey may be very disappointing for a premium marque. Scour the house owners’ boards and also you’ll discover studies of a superb driving expertise, glorious refinement and a high-quality cabin, with one or two patrons reporting remoted electrical glitches.