45: BMW i8 – Sounds strange but the i8 is one of the all-time great car bargains

Top cars for 2020: The car you buy when you want to show off that you’ve got cash, but still have a green hear

 

You could accuse BMW’s i-range of going a bit stale. After all, it’s only produced two models - this i8 and the smaller i3 - and both of those have been around for half-a-decade now.Where’s the newness?

To which the only appropriate response can be - who cares when the doors are this cool? It would be easy to portray the i8 as an eco-codpiece; the car you buy when you want to show off that you’ve got cash, but still have a green heart. That would be to vastly undersell it.

In fact, the i8 is one of the all-time great car bargains.

How so? Because it’s a 2+2 mid-engined sports car with electric four-wheel drive, a carbon-fibre chassis, and M-Car-style performance all for €149,000. Which is a lot of money, for sure, but try going to McLaren and asking for one of their mid-engined carbon-chassis sports cars and see how far you get for the same money. And you won’t even get back seats…

The i8’s handling is actually a little compromised, mostly because the skinny aero-efficient tyres can’t keep up with the wider, stickier boots of most rivals, but keep the effort levels down a touch and it’s hugely entertaining, and very quick.

All the while it’ll easily average close to 50mpg if you’re reasonably gentle. More if you remember to keep it charged up. Convertible version is cool, and keeps the Lamborghini-style doors, but we’d stick with the coupe for its extra seats.

Best model: i8 coupe for €149,250. Price range: €149,250 to €165,240. Co2 emissions: 42 to 46g/km. Sum up: Still theCoolest BMW with an 8 badge.