Car Video:  Oversteer

Video | Here's Why the BMW i8 Roadster Is Worth $175,000

RELATED READING
See all BMW i8 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2018

I recently had the chance to drive the all-new BMW i8 Roadster, which is, as you might expect, a convertible version of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. The i8 Roadster is a lot like the regular i8, except it has a removable roof and costs a bit more: The starting price is something like $165,000, versus about $150,000 for the coupe model. And I think it's worth every penny.

I borrowed the i8 Roadster from Crevier BMW in Orange County, California, and they had this wonderful copper-colored example that looks very striking. This is one reason I like this car so much: it's very striking. This has been true ever since the i8 originally came out back in 2014 -- and although the design has grown a bit more familiar over the years, it's still very cool to look at.

But the i8 is more than just cool-looking from the outside. It's also cool when you start to play around with it, as it has butterfly-style doors that are hinged on the A-pillar, which are sure to make a scene when you pull up in the valet line at dinner. There's also an unusual, futuristic interior that will wow any occupant, thanks to swoopy lines and strange placement of buttons and switches. It's just plain cool.

And that's all before you start it up. The best part about the i8 is the driving experience, as the i8 boasts about 375 horsepower, along with the instant torque you've come to expect from an electric vehicle -- and a lot of it, as the i8 has about 420 lb-ft of torque. It also has all-wheel drive and instantaneous reactions when you step on it, as it screams (or, rather, glides mostly silently) from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds.

Unfortunately, that silent gliding has been a cause of controversy. Even though the i8 looks cool, and backs up its cool look with numbers, many car enthusiasts have been slow to receive it because it's an electric car. Car enthusiasts want manual transmission and angry, aggressive engine notes, and the i8 doesn't deliver that -- so there's this feeling in the car business that the i8 must be a "lesser" sports car.

It isn't. Take the i8 around corners and you'll discover that it's impressive to drive, with a low center of gravity giving it a flat feel in all situations. While the steering rack is a bit numb, like all new BMW models, steering is still acceptably sharp, and the car handles exactly as you'd want a sports car to handle: Predictably, and without any excessive feeling of weight you might worry an electric vehicle will deliver. The i8 truly drives like a good sports car, and that's because it is a good sports car -- and when you floor it at a green light or on a highway onramp, you're jolted back in your seat just like you'd want to be in a sports car that costs $175,000.

To me, that's the beauty of the i8. Electric vehicles haven't really been aimed at car enthusiasts since they first went on sale. Consider the Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric and the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. Even Tesla models, which are more exciting than the traditional EV, still have four doors and seating for the whole family. But the i8 is a true electric sports car; the first vehicle that convinced me that electric cars don't have to be silent, boring hatchbacks that drive us to our destination without any excitement at all.

Indeed, the i8 is the beginning of an era -- that of the "fun" electric car; the electric car that's about more than just transportation. It's nice to see that it's still just as exciting as ever -- except now, you can remove the roof and add just a little extra to the enjoyment.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Video | The Volvo XC40 Is the Quirkiest Volvo in Decades
Lexus Once Had a "Pebble Beach Edition" Trim Level
Video | A $25 Part Fixed My Broken Rolls-Royce Phantom

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Video | Here's Why the BMW i8 Roadster Is Worth $175,000 - Autotrader