Batmobile takes you to the future

2015-03-15 07:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Did you have trouble finding a date for the matric farewell? Is your friend always going home with the hottie, leaving you behind? Well, if you have R1.7 million to spare, all that could change in an instant.

Just buy yourself BMW’s latest plug-in hybrid supercar, the immaculately constructed BMW i8. It will have people swooning and drooling. Yes, it is THAT good-looking.

The i8 is pure sex on wheels. We were on the receiving end of laser beam-like stares as we drove, and once we parked and opened those scissor doors, jaws dropped and the phone cameras started to flash. People walk right up to you, start a conversation and proceed to take photos.

The i8 is extremely strong and light, thanks to carbon fibre reinforced plastic body panels and an aluminium chassis. Getting in and out is slightly more challenging. Because it’s a sports car, the i8 is very close to the ground. I was wearing a loose-fitting dress and managed not to flash anyone, but a tight skirt is definitely not an option.

The breathtakingly stylish interior has a clean, fluid, hi-tech yet very organic feel to it, and everything seems to cocoon itself around you. You may as well be teleported to a parallel universe in the distant future. Even the key fob is slim and sexy, and it looks like it could activate an alien spacecraft.

Once you keylessly start her up, there’s no engine noise, and as you pull away, a silent electric whoosh ensues.

The Driving Experience Control switch and eDrive button dictate which system(s) will power the i8. On electric power alone, the i8 has a range of 37km and will reach speeds of up to 120km an hour. Switch to more fiery Sport mode, and you’ll have a combined 266kW available from all systems to play with.

Fuel economy is not nearly as fantastic as BMW boasts, but at the launch, ours attained a figure of 9 litres per 100km, which, for a supercar that accelerates from zero to 100 in 4.4 seconds, is not bad at all.

Driving it also feels no different than driving a “normal” BMW, although once you have it in Sport mode, you have to drive it with the steering-mounted shift paddles. That’s when you’ll be able to fully appreciate the engine’s sound, which has been augmented to sound more throaty, like a traditional sports car.

So, as charging points aren’t available everywhere yet, what do you do if the i8’s battery needs recharging? BMW offers you the fastest-charging wall box in the world, priced at R25 000. The whole process can be monitored and controlled remotely by means of the BMW i Remote app for smartphones. Better yet, drive the hell out of the i8 on the Sport setting. The harder it’s driven, the more it charges the battery.

I’m sold on its rock-star looks alone. I wonder how much a healthy kidney will fetch on the internet...


BMW i3 – R525 000

BMW i3 with range extender – R595 000

BMW i8 – R1 755 000

CO2 tax – none.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.