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"Super!.. Car?"

The world of supercars has always had its own rules, reminding the automotive Eden to which admission had relatively small group, people with huge financial resources not available to an ordinary, average bread eater. Those great masterpieces associate me with wild predatory cats, tied on a leash or carelessly run on the streets, roaring loud, harassing everything else that is weaker than them. As I already mentioned, the pass to this wonderful world could be a suitcase stuffed with money, and how much money? Well, what a question, paradise, after all, has no limits, one million? But what, Zloty, Dollars, maybe Euro? The answer is ... Everything! Undoubtedly, the cradle of "super car civilization" is Italy. This is where the great projects are born and from there Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati are leaving, and what about the rest supercars? Of course, there is also the British Aston Martin, there are Hypercars like Bugatti produced by Giorgietto Giugiaro, a genius designer, who designed many great cars, like our Polonez :). When talking about those supercars we can’t ignore Christian Von Koenigsegg, who builds in the small Swedish Angelholm one of the fastest vehicles on earth.., and what about the Germans? Well, it turns out that the "Big Three" with their tentacles reaches deeper than we think. The Lamborghini concern belongs in 100% to Volkswagen, similarly Bugatti which is assembled in Molsheim in France, but its engine arrives directly from the German VW factory. Pagani works in Italy and creates miracles worth millions, but he has not conjured the engine up yet. Nonetheless, in the past back in 1999 he called AMG from Affalterbach with a request to send him a package with several top class engines from Mercedes, and since then the Italian-German romance has continued. In 2013, Aston Martin sold 5% shares to the Daimler and allegedly talks are still going on till this day, concerning the partial or total takeover of Aston by the Stuttgart concern. Only in the German yard, peace and quiet. Over the years, Porsche reigns in the art of building sports cars with its Carrera 911 and 918 Spyder. Mercedes boasts SLR, SLS, AMG GT models (besides, all these are great). Until 2015, Audi produced the first generation of the R8 (currently the second is produced), and what about the BMW? Are they watching and waiting for the right moment according to the rule the last will be the first? Possibly. In 2014 the first "super sports" child of the Munich concern, came to the road world. BMW I8, a car that does not give way to Italian beauties, it has good enough performance and the technology in which it was made is based on science fiction. Only one basic question arises, is it really a genuine supercar? Stealthily I managed to sneak in (literally) behind the wheel of this car therefore I will try to dispel your doubts about him.

„Space Jam”

The copy I present comes from 2018 and is in the Coupe body version (you can still choose Roadster / Convertible). The first meeting with this newcomer from another planet, was quite funny. The car was on the platform, in the car showroom, lit like a Christmas tree. Its cosmic appearance combined with the play of lights, which was supposed to expose the beauty of the body of this Bavarian sports car, making the impression that it floated slightly above the ground. After a long moment of watching I began to doubt myself that the car is not levitating. I used to watch a program about trains in Germany, which thanks to electromagnets raced without touching the tracks. I had associated this fact with the idea that everything is possibile in the automotive world thus I decided to check it, to confirm my belief in the aspect that the automotive progress did not overtake my ability to perceive the world around me. The car is very low to the ground therefore, to see the potential source of antigravity I just had to kneel down, bend over and put head under the car. It took me a moment to flip through the entire chassis of i8, that's why I did not notice that half of the people gathering in the showroom are watching with interest what I'm doing. There was a friend standing by my side who took a picture of me. I looked in this picture like I was saying a prayer combined with deep bow towards the car. When I've figured out the situation and I scrambled from under the car I noticed that half of the sales department was looking at me with some embarrassment. Even if I would like to explain , what do I say? that I got the impression that the car was floating above the ground and I decided to check it ?, or is it better to say that I was looking for a source of antigravity drive that lifts the car 30 centimeters above the ground? I really do not know myself...
In fact, the appearance of the BMW i8 is unearthly and brings to mind only one thing,”I am dealing with a real, purebred, super cat." The body line looks like one formed solid with contours embossed with laser, that give the car the real shape. Rear spoiler gently falls on both sides of the roof along the edge of the rear window connecting to the tail lights. The whole looks like an aerodynamic skid, consisting of two elements and running through the entire length of the car. Watching the car from the outside you can see stylistic peace and harmony. It's hard to find the aggressiveness in this body car, mostly its elements are rounded, everything looks like it comes from the future. On the swag list top is the Lambo-style doors that open upwards, that you will not open anyway if there are other cars in the car park, on both sides. Entering into the vehicle requires training and proper clothing. The advantage is that you will never have to clean the door sills in this car but you will have to wash your trousers every day. I practiced going in and out of the car for a few hours, trying not to touch the threshold strip with trousers and it is impossible. Basically you have to sit on it first and then slip down on the seat. The interior of the car is an example of ergonomics, style and quality in one. We find elements made of carbon fiber, ceramics, leather and aluminum and the most wonderful is that most of the materials used to finish the car's cockpit are recyclable. Inside, as well as outside, there is an atmosphere of calm and gentleness, no muscles, no aggression or madness, only the class and elegance. The position behind the wheel is very comfortable, the seats are not at all like those on which I sat in full-blooded sports cars. Everything fits together perfectly, encouraging to ride. In front of the driver's eyes there is a monitor displaying vehicle speed, current range, fuel consumption, power supply, engine speed, outside temperature, driving mode, hour and several other basic indications, nothing extraordinary. The problem is that this car display is just proper and nothing more. In my opinion, in a sports car, it's a lot of fun to see the clocks, on which the speed increases and with it the emotions grow too.., and here? An ordinary electronic watch showing something and nothing else. On the center console, there is a second bigger monitor, where we will see information about lighting settings, air conditioning, eDrive system, intellignet safety, head-up display. The rest of the functions are traditionally; onboard information computer, telephone, navigation, wifi connectivity, satellite Radio / multimedia (as usual, I mention the most important in my opinion). The car I drove had some additional pieces of equipment that are worth mentioning. The specification list includes, among others; big screen navigation Professional, mobile telephony with wireless charging, Harman Kardon sound system, adaptive led headlights, heated front seats, comfort access to the car, multifunctional touchscreen key fob, thanks to which we can read information such as fuel level or charging car batteries.

“The work of art”

Before I share my driving experiences with you, I would like to say a few words about the technology in which the BMW i8 was created. The company was the first to develop a method of mass production of cabins made entirely of carbon. The roof of this car is also made of carbon fiber. The whole is extremely gentle and durable. Basically during an accident, the car can break into pieces, leaving you sitting in something like a carbon mold. The chassis of this vehicle is called Drive Module, frame, the element made of aluminum, containing all components of the running gear. The i8 drive consists of two independent, but cooperating engines, one of which is an electric unit driving the front-axle, cooperating with a two-stage transmission, the second is the 1.5 liter TwinPower Turbo engine that drives the rear axle. The internal combustion engine works with the six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The xDrive system is responsible for the distribution of the drive between the individual axes. The electric motor has 143 horsepower and a torque of 250 Nm, while the motor for gas has 231 horses and 320 "niutes" of torque. The whole set gives the driver 374 horses and 570 Nm. Looking at the technical data, I feel a bit unsatisfied, but in fact it is not that bad. This car accelerates to the first hundred in 4.4s, only 1/10 second worse than the BMW M4 with manual transmission. The speedometer's indicator stops after reaching 250 km / h. After pressing the eDrive button, we can travel only on the electric engine.The real range with a full battery charge is about 50 kilometers. If we press the gas pedal harder or the battery will be close to running out, then the combustion engine switches on. I tried, it works and it does a great job when we are in traffic because we save fuel and do not listen to the "moaning" of a heated gasoline engine.

"Engine music from the speaker"

It is time to fly away this plane. I was expecting the i8 to be as hard and stiff as a wild west trolley but it's not like that. The car is driving perfectly thanks to the suspension, which constantly cares for the comfort of driving and our safety. In just a short moment the adaptive suspension can adjust the work of the shock absorbers to the conditions on the road and our driving style. It's amazing, but driving this car I did not feel great discomfort on uneven surfaces, it's just normally like an ordinary car. I grab the gear stick, I move it to the left and the sport mode is on:). The clocks are illuminated in red, and I hear how the three-cylinder 1.5 monster on two turbines and the loudspeaker comes to life. After pressing the gas, both engines willingly give the power and the car starts to run forward. Do not expect to lose consciousness at the start, it is fast and cool, but there is no brutality in it, rather more grace than strength. The engine's sound is like a rattle, something like a starting helikopter but the sound is less metallic and more throaty. The steering is perfectly tuned, the driveability of this car is phenomenal. BWW is being driven like a go-kart which satisfy our all whims and forgiving the begginer’s mistakes. Provoking this car to slip is almost the art of inability to drive combined with a big misfortune on the road, it is just like you’re driving straight ahead and then turn the steering wheel firmly and without reflection. On the curves just like on a straight road, the steady car goes just where we want, and without any moans, sounds or complaints. The operation of the transmission is impeccable, like in BMW, quickly and precisely. I am trying to remember any car I was driving while I added gas on the bend with such confidence and trust. Well, this one is probably the first. Audi with Quattro drive system is going excellently, similarly as the Mercedes C43 AMG, but the BMW i8 leaves them behind in terms of traction. The disadvantage of driving this car around the city are curbs, which prevent BMW from parking freely. Sticking out, low set bumper elements improving the aerodynamics of the vehicle are exposed to damage. Unfortunately, this car is not a “townie” despite its great driveability.Finally, a few words of summary. Is this car a supercar? Personally, I do not think so.The BMW i8 looks stunning. The swag indicator has stopped working but unfortunately the 1.5 engine and less than 400 horses are not enough to deal with the elite. Modern “supercats” must combine all the best features of motoring in the most expensive edition; technology, quality, beauty, power, driveability and engine sound. The BMW i8 is amazing, it has appearance, driveability, quality and is technologically advanced but it lacks some elements that complete the whole which consists of full-featured “supercat”. Would I like it to stay in my garage? Definitely yes, let’s remember that this car costs about 750 thousand PLN, while for Italian miracles you have to pay over one million PLN. BMW i8 has one more advantage, despite the really dynamic drive burns about 10 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers  Ladies and gentlemen I invite you to purchase, thank you and kind regards.

 

Artur Rojewski

BMW i8 Coupe 2018
10 November 2018

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Attention! This site is for information purposes only, does not promote any driving style and is not of a training nature. All cars covered by the descriptions and photos posted on this site are used in accordance with traffic regulations and with the highest security measures in order not to cause any damage to road users. The author of the blog is not responsible for other road users who in a manner inconsistent with traffic regulations or with the exposure to the health and life of others, will use vehicles on public roads and outside them.