As curbside charging posts sprout all over the city, the BMW I8 is a new reason to plug in.
For serious car enthusiasts, most hybrids and electrics on the market have been missing that stop-and-stare wow factor—and then there’s the new BMW i8. This sophisticated plug-in electric-gas hybrid sports car is an enigmatic looker, appreciated by everyone from inveterate car buffs to clueless gawkers. Low-slung and faintly menacing, the BMW i8 is surprisingly small and visually provocative, with an exoskeleton of aluminum and carbon fiber, surface panels of reinforced plastic and glass, and exotic scissor-action doors. With a complex hybrid set-up of two electric motors and 1.5-liter twin-turbo, three-cylinder gas-powered engine, the i8 produces a combined 357 horsepower. While the BMW i8 reflects the hybrid combinations now coming to dominate Grand Prix motor sports, the 94-mpg EPA rating is an impressive value boost for a car already very reasonably priced at $150,000. “BMW’s pure plug-in electric may appeal to city drivers, especially in Philadelphia where charging posts have popped up,” says David Sloane, owner of BMW of Devon. Just plug and play.