In 2009, when the world was suffering a violent economic recession, BMW previewed the automobile’s future. That year it revealed the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car – a sci-fi-looking plug-in hybrid. Five years and one Mission Impossible cameo later, the i8 debuted retaining much of the concept’s futuristic styling. Six years after its debut, the BMW i8 remains a head-turner. It’s also a capable sports car. The latest video from AutoTopNL has the 2020 model tackling the Autobahn, and it’s a good reminder that the coupe isn’t a slouch.
The video has the i8 hitting the famous German highway going from a dead stop to the coupe’s top speed of 155 miles per hour (250 kilometres per hour). BMW claims the i8 can hit 62 mph (100 kph) in 4.2 seconds, which is quick when you consider the i8’s hybrid powertrain. A turbocharged 1.3-litre inline-three engine paired with an 11.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery power the i8. The combined power output is 369 bhp (275 kilowatts) and 420 pound-feet (569 Newton-metres) of torque. Power routes to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
As 2019 comes to a close, the BMW i8 still looks like a car from a future we have yet to achieve, even if the hybrid powertrain is far more common today. Sadly, the BMW i8 won’t be around much longer. Earlier this year, BMW director of development Klaus Frölich said there’d be “no direct successor for the i8.” Then, earlier this month, BMW announced it would end i8 production in April 2020. The BMW i8 never sold in high numbers – BMW produced the 20,000th i8 this month, too – but it did make hybrids cool just as Tesla made EVs mainstream.