Plug and play
Bit of coup we reckon. BMW’s flagship e-powered supercar sparked by NGK. Proof if proof were needed that NGK are at the forefront of automotive engineering whatever the power plant!
The i8 is the second of the eDrive family of cars BMW revealed some three years ago. The i3 family hatchback broke cover first in 2013, with it’s supercar older brother hitting the streets a year later. While the i3 is an intriguing proposition in its own right (and also features NGK spark plugs as OE fitment), it’s always been the i8 that has caught our eye.
Could be the 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds that might have something to do with that!
The i8, like it’s smaller sibling, features something akin to a scaled down Formula One style power plant with a BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine providing top end power to the rear axle, while the front wheels are powered by a 129bhp electric motor. Combined the two offer 356 bhp with 420lb ft of torque. But the what gives the impression of even more power is that the electric output generates all it torque from start. So that is a serious whack of power straight off the line.
Now unlike the looks which definitely match the driving experience, the sound this car makes is definitely of the smoke (or rather no smoke) and mirrors variety as it’s generated digitally through the audio system. So it’s all in the mind rather than coming out of the exhaust pipe. But who cares when you’re on the inside looking out?
And the interior definitely matches the interior for drama, swooping and swirling around the driver and passenger once they’ve closed the dramatic dihedral opening doors.
Is this future? Well it’s certainly one take on it and until there are some very major advances in battery technology, it represents the most practical way of achieving an ultra low carbon footprint of 49g/km, particularly for a car with supercar performance. Official figures claim 134mpg!! In the real world this drops to around ‘just’ 45.
Naturally with these emission levels the i8 attracts no road tax nor congestion charge. But if you can afford the purchase price of £105,000 that’s probably not top of mind.
So there you have it. The shape of things to come sparked by NGK.