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BMWs are not cheap, that’s just common knowledge. However, within the Bavarian marque’s vast lineup, some are cheaper than others. However, without a shadow of doubt, the most expensive BMW of them all is the eye-catching i8 supercar. Its 855,000 dirham sticker price is almost double that of the already-expensive X6. In fact, the BMW i8 is so expensive, that it makes its nearest rivals like the Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-AMG GT, and even the exotic McLaren 570S seem like a bargain. And believe me when I say this, those are all much faster cars.
The BMW i8 was the German automaker’s first step into the world of hybrid sports cars, and is part of, what’s now known as BMW i - a sub-brand within BMW. The i8 is also the most successful of BMW’s I vehicles and till date, remains one of the most sought-after BMW’s. Of course, its sky-high purchase price keeps most people at bay. The i8 was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013, and captivated many with its stunning butterfly doors and sleek, ultra-modern design. Being a plug-in hybrid, the BMW i8 comes equipped with a 1.5-liter, twin-scroll turbo, three-cylinder petrol engine that’s also backed up by a 98 kW electric motor. The synchronous electric motor itself is also hooked up to a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The combined power output from the i8’s hybrid setup is 374 hp and 570 Nm of torque. Thankfully, there’s no CVT nonsense here, just a regular 6-speed torque-converter automatic that’s paired to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
Unlike some plug-in hybrids, the BMW i8 is all about rapid performance. Floor the throttle, and the i8 will leap towards the horizon like a Prius on multiple steroids. The ton-mark is breached in just over 4 seconds, and you’d hope that the fun continues. However, BMW doesn’t feel so, as an electronic governor steps in at 250 km/h. You see, this is just about rapid performance (I know I’m contradicting myself now), but BMW also wants drivers to enjoy some quiet time as well. You see, despite its relatively small fuel tank, the i8 boasts a maximum range of 600 kilometers - of which, around 30 kilometers is pure electric-only range. If you want the best range out of your i8, driving it like a grandma on ECO PRO mode is the best choice. That way, you can achieve up to an unbelievable 2.5 L/100 km. However, should you wish to stay in electric mode only, but would like to build up the pace, you can do that. But the buck stops at 120 km/h, post which, the internal-combustion engine will kick in.
The BMW i8 is not designed keeping practicality in mind, but it’s easily comfortable for two adults. Meanwhile, the sports seats provide enough support and also do a great job of holding you in place while navigating around tight corners. In typical BMW fashion, build quality is excellent and nothing inside the cabin feels cheap or out of place. The i8 is also well equipped with modern features, including adaptive laser headlights which are insanely bright, 20-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters, active dampers, power-adjustable seats, rain-sensing wipers, electronic handbrake, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, premium audio system, and BMW’s geeky iDrive system with navigation and BMW apps among others.
BMW has also packed the i8 with tons of safety gadgets, least of which are six airbags, active steering, collision detection, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, electronic stability program, traction control system, hill assist, rear cross traffic alert, active cornering assist, road sign assist, all-around parking sensors with rear-view camera, and anti-lock brakes with EBD and brake assist.