2019 BMW i8

BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster Exterior
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2019 BMW i8
  • BMW i8
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    228 @ 5800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    236 @ 3700
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

A few extra electrons for ze German sci-fi machine

First unveiled in 2013, the BMW i8 was met with critical acclaim for its sharp space-age looks, high-tech hybrid powertrain, and impressive speed potential. First rolling off the production line in 2014, the i8 has remained a hugely desirable hybrid sports car throughout its brief lifetime. However, it’s been several years now since its initial release, which means it’s time for a refresh. As such, BMW introduced a mid-cycle refresh for the i8 Coupe at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, simultaneously dropping the sheets alongside a new open-top Roadster iteration. Overall, the tweaks are minor but do include some new styling options and a slightly beefier battery pack. Power and all-electric range see incremental increases, but is it enough to keep the Bavarian spaceship feeling as cutting edge as it should?

After all, we’ve seen some pretty impressive gains in the sporty hybrid segment, even in the past three years. Which begs the question – how does the 2019 i8 shape up amongst the current crop of segment offerings, and does this refresh lag against the times?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW i8.

 

Latest BMW i8 news and reviews:

BMW Loves Diesel, so Don't Expect to see an All-Electric Lineup Anytime Soon

BMW Loves Diesel, so Don’t Expect to see an All-Electric Lineup Anytime Soon

It will use diesel in its car in the foreseeable future

BMW makes and sells many diesel engines in Europe and other parts of the world that are not North America, and it doesn’t plan on stopping anytime in the near future. This point was confirmed on the sidelines of the Paris motor show by a high-ranking company official who also believes that generally speaking “the discussion about electro-mobility is a little bit irrational” in the current context.

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2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

There’s a matching BMW i3 to go with it

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

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Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

Golden i3 or i8, anyone?

BMW has introduced tons of special versions of its i cars - the i3 and the i8. Now, the BMW Czech Republic division revealed a new stunning pair of special editions- the BMW i3 and the i8 Starlight Edition, two models that show off the exceptional possibilities of BMW’s paint partners at Toplac. As the official partners of the BMW ColorSystem, Toplac employed painter Miroslav Spicak and designer Zoltan Matuska to create the unique BMW i3 and i8 drizzled in gold. Literally.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 BMW i8

Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 BMW i8

The BMW i8 really stands out in the car world. It’s considered ugly by some and gorgeous by others. It was one of the first performance models from BMW to make use of a hybrid drivetrain and, despite the fact that it had a very limited all-electric range, it still delivered exactly what most customers wanted. Unfortunately, the world isn’t long for the i8 as BMW has recently hinted that there won’t be a successor, but the current model should stick around for a while as it was recently updated for the 2019 model year. There wasn’t a lot that came new for 2019, but there were some minor tweaks to the drivetrain, a slightly larger battery pack, and some other styling changes here and there – just enough to keep things fresh.

A 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine provided a little bit of getup while the hybrid drivetrain did the rest. All told, there was 228 ponies and 236 pound-feet of torque from the engine and another 141 ponies and 184 pound-feet from the motor. It can hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and tops out at 155 mph (or 75 mph in EV mode) It’s not the fastest car on the block, but it sure does look pretty cool. So, we asked ourselves: why not make it the wallpaper of the day? And, we did. You can take our hand-picked favorite or browse the gallery below for more cool choices.

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The BMW i8 S Isn't Happening Because Nobody Wants One

The BMW i8 S Isn’t Happening Because Nobody Wants One

Apparently, the i8 is already fast and powerful enough for everyone

The BMW i8 sports car may have an uncertain future, but sales of the model, including the i8 Roadster, are going strong. The pioneering hybrid sports car is apparently so popular that BMW isn’t considering a more powerful version anytime soon. That means that those who were hopeful of seeing the i8 S will have to at least temper those expectations. According to BMW i8 Product Manager Marcus Pluntke, the i8 S is not on BMW’s radar at the moment because there isn’t a strong enough demand for one.

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BMW Planning Different Sized Battery Cells, So Expect to Pony Up For Anything Above 280 Miles Per Charge

BMW Planning Different Sized Battery Cells, So Expect to Pony Up For Anything Above 280 Miles Per Charge

You could get up to 435 miles of range, though, so that’s cool

The BMW Group has big plans for its future all-electric lineup. A big part of those plans is the development of a number of battery packs with different amounts of power and range. The automaker’s goal is to create different battery packs that it can put in its future electric cars, at least depending on the segment those EVs will be slotted in. That means that, in addition to carrying different amounts of power, these batteries will also differ in size, depending on the size of the model that’s going to use them.

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BMW Will Use Different Battery Designs so Future Electric Cars Won't Look Weird

BMW Will Use Different Battery Designs so Future Electric Cars Won’t Look Weird

This is good news considering the i3 wasn’t exactly pretty

There’s a lot we can say about the BMW i3, but the most obvious is that it, like myself, wasn’t graced by God in the beauty department. For me, you can thank less-than-favorable genes, but for the i3, it boiled down to BMW’s lack of experience with EVs at the time. The size and position of the batteries were far from ideal as were the general dimensions of the EV powertrain it developed for the i3. Luckily, that will be a thing of the past as BMW isn’t only focused on different capacity, but different shape of its future batteries as well. This is a move that will ensure models like the BMW i9, the iNext, and all electric and hybrid versions of its current models all look as sleek and sexy as their ancestors and ICE-toting counterparts.

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BMW's Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

BMW’s Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

These charging poles will service the German automaker’s first wave of all-electric cars

Every automaker has ambitions to get a bigger piece of the electric car market in China, and since the segment itself is on the cusp of a game-changing boom, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from a company like BMW. The German automaker is announcing a massive expansion to its charging network in China with plans to install more than 80,000 charging poles in over 100 Chinese cities. The company’s goal is to have these poles up-and-running when its fleet of new electric cars hit the market in the coming years.

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BMW Won't Mass-Produce EVs Right Now Because it's Too Expensive

BMW Won’t Mass-Produce EVs Right Now Because it’s Too Expensive

Patience is a virtue in the electric car game

Just because a lot of automakers are aggressively pushing for electrification, don’t expect BMW to try to keep pace with the rest of them. The German automaker has no intention to mass produce electric cars until 2020 because it doesn’t have the technology that can help scale up production to profitable levels. At the moment, BMW is focusing its attention on making that technology scalable and more modular, two key factors that will help the company elevate its involvement in electrification in the coming years.

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The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only

The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won’t Return To Gas Only

The Bavarians look to get in on the EV revolution

As we all know, the EVs are coming, and they’re coming in a big way. BMW knows this, and is actively pushing a new string of hybrids and all-electrics in a variety of segments to fill demand. And, according to a recent Digital Trends interview with BMW’s chief of electric powertrains Stefan Juraschek, it’s looking like that’s never gonna change.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2019 BMW i8 Roadster

2019 BMW i8 Roadster

Bimmer’s electrified spaceship goes topless

The world got its first official look at the production-ready BMW i8 hybrid sports car back in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Critics and enthusiasts alike went gaga over its sci-fi good looks while reveling in its promises of speed and efficiency, and consumers responded by buying over 10,000 examples of the i8 as of November of 2016, making it the best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car in the world. Impressive stuff, no doubt, but now there’s a new model out, and this time, it’s got a bit off the top. This roofless iteration of the Bavarian’s hybrid sports car made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, and brings with it a few small tweaks to the exterior styling, updated tech in the cabin, and a little extra oomph in the electrified powertrain department as well.

Overall, the updates are pretty minor, refining what’s already there without changing much. And considering the widespread acclaim levied at the i8 in the few short years it’s been on the market, it makes sense to keep things more or less unchanged, right? That said, the hybrid and EV market have seen some mighty impressive advances over the course of that time period, which begs the question – can unlimited headroom keep the i8 feeling fresh for the 2019 model year?

Updated 01/24/2018: We’ve updated this review with all the latest official info straight from BMW!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.

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Is there a More Powerful version of the BMW i8 On the Horizon?

Is there a More Powerful version of the BMW i8 On the Horizon?

Don’t count those eggs yet because it’s probably not happening

The fate of the BMW i8 beyond its current run is still a big question mark. But that’s a problem for another time. Today, the i8 is still going strong, as exhibited by the facelifted model that made its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Moving forward, there are rumblings that the German automaker could take the i8 to another performance level with the introduction of a more powerful “i8S” version.

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Latest Wallpapers:

The Future of the BMW i8 is Still in Limbo

The Future of the BMW i8 is Still in Limbo

That goes for the BMW i3 too

The BMW i8 is still making a good case as a desirable model. The debut of the facelifted i8 in Detroit comes a month after the i8 Roadster showed up in Los Angeles. But just because the electric sports coupé remains relevant today, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be around in the not-so-distant future. There are ongoing discussions in Bavaria over the fate of the i8, and there’s growing sentiment that the coupé will end up becoming a one-generation wonder.

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Oh Look, BMW Brought Its Pathetic i8 Facelift to Detroit

Oh Look, BMW Brought Its Pathetic i8 Facelift to Detroit

Not again...

Remember how BMW brought the i8 Roadster, a facelifted i8 with the roof chopped off, at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and called it "new?" Well, it’s happening again. It’s been a little more than a month and BMW unveiled the "new" i8 Coupe at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The same car they first introduced in 2014, but with revised headlamps and taillights, a bit more horsepower, and a marginally improved range. BMW is either shameless and pathetic or is simply using the i8 to troll us at every auto show throughout the year (don’t forget about those "special-edition" models with "custom" paintjobs).

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Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs

Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs

The tall-riding mash-up continues…

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe you’re just in denial?), demand for crossovers and SUVs continues to consume just about every automotive segment imaginable. Even the well-established performance marques are susceptible to the siren song of profitable jacked-up suspension plus tons of practical rear cargo room, with models like the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus upending decades of sports car traditions. But what if we took it a step further? What if we gave eight iconic sports cars the SUV treatment? Welp, Jennings Motor Group did exactly that with the following renderings.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2019 BMW i8

2019 BMW i8

A few extra electrons for ze German sci-fi machine

First unveiled in 2013, the BMW i8 was met with critical acclaim for its sharp space-age looks, high-tech hybrid powertrain, and impressive speed potential. First rolling off the production line in 2014, the i8 has remained a hugely desirable hybrid sports car throughout its brief lifetime. However, it’s been several years now since its initial release, which means it’s time for a refresh. As such, BMW introduced a mid-cycle refresh for the i8 Coupe at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, simultaneously dropping the sheets alongside a new open-top Roadster iteration. Overall, the tweaks are minor but do include some new styling options and a slightly beefier battery pack. Power and all-electric range see incremental increases, but is it enough to keep the Bavarian spaceship feeling as cutting edge as it should?

After all, we’ve seen some pretty impressive gains in the sporty hybrid segment, even in the past three years. Which begs the question – how does the 2019 i8 shape up amongst the current crop of segment offerings, and does this refresh lag against the times?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW i8.

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2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Worst In Show

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Worst In Show

The four-wheeled equivalents of a box-office flop

With December now upon us, the LA Auto Show opens to the public, with throngs of hungry auto lovers filing into the downtown convention center to get a glimpse of all the fresh four-wheeled offerings hot off the press. TopSpeed was there to cover all the big debuts, and we found more than a few that were worth your praise and adulation. However, for every model that impressed, LA also served up at least a few that were… let’s say problematic. Indeed, it wasn’t all roses and lollipops and rainbows in La La Land, and as such, we feel compelled to put together a smattering of offenders in the following Worst In Show list.

Most of the following entries left us with a profound sense of “meh,” while others had us questioning why they even decided to show at all. Of course, your opinions on the worst from LA might differ, so drop your picks in the comments section below!

Continue reading to learn more about our picks for Worst In Show from the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

The rights to these names add to large list of names

BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.

Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.

Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.

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BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster

BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster

Haha; they said “new.”

The doors to the Los Angeles Auto Show have opened, and BMW was hoping to WOW the crowd with a “new” i8 Coupe and the first-ever i8 Roadster. Sharing the same exterior features as the coupe, the Roadster gets the benefit of a soft top and the option of unlimited headroom, a first for the model. The electric drive system has been updated and now offers 18 miles of all-electric driving – 3 more than the coupe offered before. The new Roadster can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.4 seconds while the Coupe can do it in 4.2; both top out at 155 mph. Both vehicles feature BMW’s “new” i8 design that includes revised headlights, a new front hood, and new LED strips in the taillights. There is also some slight tweaking apparent to the side skirts below the doors, two new body colors (E-Copper and Donnington Grey,) Carbon Fiber interior trim, and 12 extra horsepower – bringing total output up to 369 ponies. Check out the press release below and come back soon to check out our updated reviews

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2020 BMW i8

2020 BMW i8

Is BMW’s modern sports car taking the all-electric route?

Launched in 2014, the i8 was on BMW’s drawing boards since the mid-2000s. First unveiled as the Vision Efficient Dynamics in 2009, it was updated to the i8 Concept in 2011, before being showcased as a production-ready prototype in 2013. In 2012, BMW also revealed a Spyder concept car. More than three years have passed since its official debut, and the i8 is already a big hit with hybrid sports car enthusiasts. Despite this, BMW has yet to offer a mid-cycle update like it did with the i3, but it’s planning to launch a drop-top, Spyder version at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Whether more oomph is on the table for the current i8 is still a mystery, but there’s a lot of buzz about a significantly more powerful next-generation model flying around for quite some time.

Given BMW’s current strategy, a brand-new i8 isn’t likely to arrive sooner than 2020, so information about the upcoming sports car is scant, to say the least. However, there have been claims that the new i8 will go fully electric and the I Vision Dynamics concept that was unveiled in 2017 likely previews the sports car’s new design. I gathered all the information available in the speculative review below, while our designer created a rendering of what the second-generation i8 might look like. Keep reading to find out all the details we have so far and stay tuned for updates on this car.

Continue reading to learn more about the second-generation BMW i8.

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Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups

Click Mechanic Renders 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups

Hold on to your butts, things are about to get weird

Halloween may have come and gone, but it’s never too late to explore the weird, the bizarre, and the downright frightening things that go bump in the night. If you’ve got the nerve, then we challenge you to look through these utterly profane vehicle renderings, courtesy of the good folks from Click Mechanic. Truth be told, no one is safe from the following strange creations – hybrids, muscle cars, imports, supercars, trucks, and even tractors get tossed into the blender with these seven unholy car mashups.

Call it madness, call it lunacy, call it outlandish… truth be told, we simply can’t look away! Hell, we’d actually argue that some of these creations are a bit, well, awesome (no, seriously). Either way, this is what happens when you give rendering artists free reign to mix and match from across the automotive spectrum. Naturally, we wanna know – which is these shocking mashups stands out the most to you? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading to see 7 Utterly Bizarre Car Mashups.

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2017 BMW i8 – Driven

2017 BMW i8 – Driven

Blurring the line between tree-hugger and supercar

The BMW i8 has been around since the 2015 model year, but I’ve just recently had the chance to get behind the wheel. In fact, I had an entire week to play with it, driving it to mundane places like the grocery store and the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school. As you might imagine, the i8 garnered plenty of attention wherever it went. And why not? It’s the sexiest machine in BMW’s current lineup and just as exotic as anything from Lamborghini or Ferrari. Yet under its Sophisto Grey paint and carbon fiber reinforced plastic body lies some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced drivetrain components this side of Doc Brown’s DMC DeLorean and its Mr. Fusion nuclear reactor.

The i8, along with its less athletically inclined brother, the i3, are the current members of BMW’s i Division. As BMW’s M Division is committed to high performance vehicles, the i Division is all about electrification. For the time being, the i Division has concentrated on gasoline-electric hybrids, combining the best of both worlds into an amalgamation of efficiency and sportiness while limiting the amount of gasoline needed. Holistically, the BMW i8 lives up to its hype, delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, an EPA-estimated 76 MPGe, and a combined rating of 28 mpg when the gasoline three-cylinder kicks on. But like most cutting-edge technology and exotic supercars, the everyday experience can be a bit compromised and challenging.

Continue reading for the full review of the 2017 BMW i8.

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The BMW i8 Makes Me Feel Old

The BMW i8 Makes Me Feel Old

Crawling out is like some awkward Yoga move

The BMW i8 is a beautiful car. It attracts attention like a light bulb attracts moths. Open the butterfly doors, and heads really start to turn. All eyes are on the sexy supercar and whoever is about to slide out. Is it James Bond? Maybe a real-life celebrity? No, it’s just me and my 30-year-old joints that somehow feel 60 when crawling over the i8’s high and wide doorsill. It’s a move best left to those who hit the gym more than the buffet. Yeah, it definitely takes some practice to gracefully exit the i8. Getting in isn’t much easier, either – that is, unless you’ve got the choreography down tighter than the folks in Cirque de Soleil.

Embellishments aside, the i8 can be challenging to enter and exit, especially for the first time. The open butterfly door and low roof provide a couple great spots to induce a migraine and the high doorsill and low-slug dashboard mean you’ve got to fold up before sliding in. Making the exit routine challenging is the height difference between that doorsill and the seats. Like other cars with a carbon fiber tub, the seats sit low and far inboard, making the journey out a game of endurance and stretching.

Nevertheless, it didn’t take long before I figured out the best way to get into the i8. After opening the door, I sort of led with my right foot into the footwell then sat on the doorsill. Then with a grip on the steering wheel, I slid inward with my left leg trailing behind. Impressively, my short(ish) arms were easily able to reach the door handle to pull it closed.. Once inside, the i8 feels awesome, and for the most part, would be comfortable in an all-day roadtrip.

Getting out takes a different strategy. Pushing the electronic release on the door and giving it a slight nudge with the left elbow sends it skyward. (The doors are impressively light and well-sprung.) I then use the same elbow to push against the doorsill to pry my butt from the seat and on to the sill. At that point, I can swing my left leg out of the car, followed by a pivot and then my right leg. With some practice, it becomes second nature. After all, nobody wants to buy a supercar only to look like the guy in the video below!

Stay tuned for more on my time with the 2017 BMW i8

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Highs & Lows: 2017 BMW i8

Highs & Lows: 2017 BMW i8

A spaceship for the street

The BMW i8 isn’t new, but it’s my first time behind the wheel. Luckily, I got more than some quick test-drive around the block, I spent a week getting to know BMW’s spaceship for the streets. Like anything with a split personality, the i8 falls under that old saying, “jack of all trades; master of none.” Some call it a supercar. Others call it a dolled up BMW i3 with an overly complicated design and a hybrid powertrain that sips fuel but guzzles expendable monthly income with hefty payments. Yeah, the i8 has some interesting attributes, and that’s what I’m here to explore.

My tester is a 2017 model with only 1,800 or so miles on the odometer. It’s coated in “Sophisto Grey with BMW i Blue” and fitted with the mid-grade and $2,000 Giga World trim package. Only one option is present: the Laserlight headlights, which cost a hefty $6,300. The $995 destination fee is the only other added cost. Still, that pushes the $143,400 i8 past a $153,000 purchase price. Needless to say, the i8 ain’t cheap. But neither is its technology. BMW somehow squeezes 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque from a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder and a pair of electric motors. The chassis is made of lightweight aluminum and the body shell is constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. It has two transmissions, AWD, and a combined EPA rating of 76 MPGe. Still, the i8 isn’t perfect. Living with it for a week has uncovered some notable annoyances that a potential i8 owner should definitely know exist.

Continue reading for the highs and low of the BMW i8.

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BMW's Frankfurt "Surprise" Could Be Any One Of These Models

BMW’s Frankfurt "Surprise" Could Be Any One Of These Models

My money’s on the X7 Concept, though I’m not betting on it

BMW’s positioning itself to have a busy few months ahead with so many debuts on the table. Not that I’m wishing for lighter loads because the cars we’re expecting to see from Bavaria will likely be staples in the brand’s future lineup. Bimmer already confirmed plans to unveil the BMW Roadster Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in two weeks. Now, the German automaker’s hinting at more “exciting surprises” to come, this time at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Obviously, BMW didn’t say what the surprise is going to be because that’ll defeat the whole purpose of the whole thing be a surprise. But company chairman Harald Krueger did drop this bombshell following statements he made about the company’s plan for a greener future in a recent conference call. So it is possible that this surprise has something to do with a model that will be a big part of that “greener future.” If it is, it narrows down the list of potential models that could star in this surprise, and since we’re always suckers for a little sleuthing work, we’ve pinpointed three models that could be Bimmer’s Frankfurt surprise.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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TopSpeed's Top 5 Hybrid Sports Cars

TopSpeed’s Top 5 Hybrid Sports Cars

Going green never went so quick

Ready or not, the hybrids are coming. Scratch that. They’re already here, and their numbers are steadily increasing. But fear not, brave auto enthusiast, the ever-increasing popularity of the hybrid powertrain isn’t going to diminish your fun behind the wheel. In fact, the addition of electric assistance might actually increase the smile factor of the modern sports car. Despite rampant speculation and fear mongering over the Prius-ification of the performance segment, hybrid powertrains can add mph in addition to mpg. To prove as much, here are five of the best examples of exactly that.

Of course, you won’t be able to get one of these machines for cheap, as adding a performance hybrid system to the powertrain also adds quite a few dollars to the bottom line. But that’s to be expected when dealing with top-of-the-line technology, especially tech born and bred for the racetrack. Eventually, we’ll see this stuff trickle down to more accessible models, but for now, hybrid sports cars occupy the top of the pyramid. Tell us which model you want in your garage, and if we missed something we shouldn’t have, by posting in the comments.

Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Hybrid Sports Cars.

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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition

Another Geneva-bound special edition BMW i8 is making waves

It’s easy to see why some people have become weary of BMW’s penchant to dress up the i8 in special edition wardrobes when the common call for the German automaker is to drop some serious updates on the car. After all, the long-promised i8 Spyder has not yet arrived and a next-generation model isn’t making its debut anytime soon. Heck, there was even one point when talk of a “hotter” i8 – reportedly called the i8S – was in everyone’s radar. Nothing has come out of it though and the restless have become even more angsty. In the meantime, BMW seems to be content in dropping one special edition i8 after another and the latest to get that treatment is the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition.

In truth, the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition was announced together with the i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition. You might even say that with the exception of the body color that’s carried over into their actual names, both special edition i8s are somewhat identical to one another.

BMW’s approach with the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition is simple and straight to the point, as it has been for other Protonic special editions that the German automaker has released in the past. Remember the i8 Protonic Red Edition and the i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition from last year? Lump in the the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow’s tag-team partner, the Protonic Frozen Black Edition, and you can see a familiar template being followed here.

Yes, the family of special edition BMW i8s is growing and until we get to see some concrete movement in the expansion of the model’s line-up, we might have to settle ourselves with the understanding that for now, the scope of BMW’s expansion plans for the i8 will largely be focused on more special edition models in the near future, possibly of the “Protonic” persuasion.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing since there’s still a segment of the population that get excited over these models. But the novelty is also wearing thin for some people and as creative as these special edition i8s are, the time when people we’re falling over their feet in excitement every time BMW released one has clearly passed.

There’s a good chance that the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition will still attract a lot of people. But don’t be surprised if just as many start jumping off the bandwagon.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition.

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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition

The i8 is all dressed for a classy night in the town

The BMW i8 is a few months away from celebrating its third year anniversary since entering production, and if there’s one thing that we’ve come to know and understand about the i8, it’s that BMW has never wasted an opportunity to dress up the hybrid sports car in a number of different versions. Over the years, we’ve seen special edition versions like the i8 Protonic Red Edition, the i8 Concours d’ Elegance Edition, and the i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition. At one point, there was even the i8 Mirrorless Concept, which didn’t come with standard mirrors, hence the name. Today, we welcome a pair of new special edition I8’s, both of whom are scheduled to make their debuts at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. One of these special editions is called the i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition and predictably enough, it’s dressed in black from nose to tail.

Debonairs the world over would certainly appreciate a car like the i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition. The special edition i8’s all-black look is a magnet for self-assured confidence and we all know that the suave and urbane are not lacking in those particular character traits. Naturally, it touts a model-specific BMW Individual paint finish as the main highlight of the Protonic Frozen Black Edition, as it has for the aforementioned special edition i8s that have come before it.

That said, the i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition isn’t just defined by its striking paint finish. Specific interior appointments also help magnify the i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition’s special edition status. There’s not a lot of them, but the ones that are there are exclusive to the Frozen Black Edition and its co-star in Geneva, the equally limited Protonic Yellow Edition.

Both special edition i8s are scheduled to go on sale this year with the Protonic Frozen Black Edition hitting the market first in April 2017. For its part, the Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition will follow suit a few months later, possibly around the latter half of the year.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition.

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BMW's i8 Protonic Series Is Ridiculous and It's Driving Me Nuts

BMW’s i8 Protonic Series Is Ridiculous and It’s Driving Me Nuts

Give us an i8 Spyder already and cut the crap!

The 2017 Geneva Motor Show is only a month away and automakers are slowly unveiling their new products for Europe’s first major car show of the year. Among them, BMW has already launched the new 5 Series Touring (wagon) and two special-edition models of the i8. The latter two go by the name Protonic Frozen Black Edition and Frozen Yellow Edition and made me die a bit inside.

Why BMW, why do you keep making Protonic editions of the i8 that don’t have much to offer besides an exterior color and new interior trim?

In case you’re not familiar with these special editions, BMW first introduced the Protonic i8 at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The first car was named Protonic Red and had an exclusive red paint job, gray wheels, and some red detailing inside. At the Paris Motor Show, we saw the Protonic Dark Silver, which had a... wait for it... dark gray metallic exterior. BMW didn’t even bother to release interior shots for this car.

Now, BMW introduced the Protonic Frozen Black and Protonic Frozen Yellow. Obviously, their main features are the black and yellow exterior paints (shocking!), plus yellow stitching and a few small additions on the inside. Sure, the new paints come from Individual and are pretty fancy — the matte black shines like a metallic color in certain lighting conditions — but that’s about it. Oh, wait, both will be produced in limited runs (no numbers yet), but I’m still not impressed. There aren’t many automotive things I hate more than so-called limited-edition models that are just repainted standard cars.

I mean, is it so hard to make a two-paint, add a custom upholstery, or maybe even create a livery inspired by BMW’s successful racing past? Okay, okay, I do get the Protonic line and the need to give customers a special paint job in the absence of actual upgrades, but how many cars are you going to make, BMW? This year’s Geneva will be the third auto show to feature a repainted i8 and it seems to me that BMW is creating these models just to populate its booth.

Why not offer something new? Like a significant power update or, even better, a spyder version of the i8. I’m sure customers will go nuts over a convertible and sales would increase dramatically. An i8 Spyder and more optional exterior paints in the configurator would basically eliminate the need of Protonic special-edition models for a few years. Give it a rest and give us what we want, BMW!

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BMW i8 Roadster Finally Gets 2018 Production Timetable

BMW i8 Roadster Finally Gets 2018 Production Timetable

It’s been a long wait for the i8’s drop-top counterpart to burst into the scene

Four years after unveiling the BMW i8 Spyder Concept at the Beijing Motor Show, BMW is finally bringing the topless hybrid sports car to life with a 2018 target date for the start of the car’s production. According to Automotive New, BMW CEO Harald Krueger made the confirmation during a recent press conference, alleviating the growing concern surrounding the status of the car.

The news should come as a sigh of relief for BMW fans, a lot of whom have been waiting with baited breath on any news about BMW’s plans for the i8 Spyder. Up until this point, the German automaker has been coy about the car’s future, opting to say, time and again, that the car was “on its way.” Krueger’s announcement finally opened that lid and while details are still scarce about what we can expect with the i8 Spyder, it is likely to be based on the latest version of the i8’s platform. That could include power numbers north of 400 horsepower and a new lithium ion battery pack that will provide better range and longer capacity.

Expect more details to arrive about the i8 Spyder now that the cat’s finally out of the bag. While I don’t expect anything substantive to arrive in the coming weeks or months, the development of the car and its connection with its coupe counterpart should give us a better picture on what we can all look forward to when production starts in two years.

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BMW i3 And i8 CrossFade Concepts Get Trippy Body Paints

BMW i3 And i8 CrossFade Concepts Get Trippy Body Paints

The method behind this transitioning color was inspired by pointillism

BMW is no stranger to aftermarket partnerships, having established key tie-ups with some of the segments most known tuners. The 2016 Paris Motor Show played host to one such alliance as BMW and Garage Italia Customs unveiled the BMW i3 and i8 CrossFade concepts.

The two i models don’t carry any engine upgrades, but they do have a rather peculiar exterior feature that allows for the color of the i3 and i8 bodies to evolve between two unique colors. Up front, the i3 and the i8 are dressed in Protonic Dark Silver. But as color gradually moves to the back, triangle designs on the side of the cars somehow creates a smooth transition to the Protonic Blue paint finish in the rear of the two cars.

From a distance, the transition looks really smooth, but once you take closer look, you’ll notice that the triangle colors and patterns create a visual trick that allows the two colors to blend together and transition from silver to blue the way it does. The method is actually similar to pointillism, which the artistically-inclined among us will recognize as a painting technique that uses small distinct dots of color that are patterned to create a unique image. Even better, the same application was given to the door panels and the Alcantara headliner on the cabins of both the i3 and i8.

The results are unique to say the least. I’m not sure that it’s for everybody, but for those who are intrigued about owning either of these two models, BMW actually has plans to offer both versions to the public by early 2017. The respective prices are yet to be released, so stay tuned for updates on that end.

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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition

The German brand is bringing a special-edition sports car to the Paris Motor Show

Previewed by several concept cars and prototypes, the BMW i8 was introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and was ultimately put into production in 2014. Deliveries to U.S. customers began in August of 2014. The i8 is BMW’s second mass-produced hybrid after the i3, which arrived in dealerships in late 2013. In 2015, global sales of the BMW i8 exceeded the combined figure of all other hybrid sports cars produced by other manufacturers, an impressive feat for a vehicle that costs well in excess of $100,000.

Much like every other nameplate out there, the i8 has also spawned a number of limited-edition models. After launching the Protonic Red Edition at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the German firm prepared a follow up for the 2016 Paris Motor Show. It goes by the name Protonic Dark Silver Edition, and much like its predecessor, it comes with a batch of unique features on top of the i8’s already comprehensive equipment list.

The new special-edition sports car will be available for a limited time, with production to commence by the end of 2016. Keep reading to find out what makes it special and stay tuned for updates from the Paris Motor Show in just a couple of weeks.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition.

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Second-Generation BMW i8 Could Get As Much As 750 Horsepower

Second-Generation BMW i8 Could Get As Much As 750 Horsepower

More details emerge on what’s shaping up to be an explosive second-gen i8

TheBMW i8 stands as one of BMW’s most important releases in recent years, and if a report from Automobile Magazine is to be believed, the second-generation version of the i8 could very well evolve into an all-electric supercar. Consider first what the current iteration of the i8 is capable of. It’s got a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors that combine to produce 362 horsepower. It’s not much for a premium sports car, but it is good enough to compete against an entry-level Porsche 911. Knowing this, BMW appears to be going into overdrive for the second-generation i8 with plans to more than double the output from the incumbent version.

The number being thrown around is 750 horsepower, which is a staggering increase even for the i8’s standards. Apparently, BMW is ditching the current drivetrain setup of the i8 in favor of using three high-revving electric motors that will combine to net that output number. Autocar previously reported that these three electric motors will each carry 268 horsepower and while the total from those three motors - 804 horses - doesn’t add to the same total, the numbers are close enough to suggest that BMW doesn’t plan to squeeze out all of the power from the three electric motors.

More potent batteries are also reportedly being developed with the capability to deliver a range extending to 300 miles. That number is a little lower than the 310-mile range of the current i8, but the massive increase in power should make the next-generation model a more explosive car to drive.

Other technologies that BMW is eyeing for the next-gen i8 include four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and an active suspension system that will have the capability to scan the road ahead and presumably make adjustments when needed. A new design is also expected to be made for the new i8, adding weight to past suggestions that the new model will receive the same carbon fiber structure that was developed for the i division’s i8-looking fuel cell research vehicle that was unveiled back in July 2015.

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TopSpeed's Top 5 High-Tech Cars

TopSpeed’s Top 5 High-Tech Cars

The future is now!

In case you hadn’t noticed, the year is 2016, people, and it’s high time we get this whole technology thing kicked into high gear. Yeah, I know you can post cat videos and catch virtual pocket monsters, but I’m talking about real tech, stuff that can actually change the world in a profound way. Not that that video of Mr. Snowball chasing the laser pointer isn’t worthwhile, I’m just saying we can do better. Thankfully, there’s at least a few automakers out there pushing the limits of what’s possible on four wheels, and we’re all a whole lot better for it.

In this list, we’ve compiled the top five high-tech cars you can go buy right now. You know, with money. And while they might not be powered by trilithium extract or be made from carbonized uranium, these five vehicles represent the bleeding edge of transportation. Is your ride among them?

Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 High-Tech Cars.

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BMW Considering All-Electric Replacement For The i8 Hybrid Sports Car

BMW Considering All-Electric Replacement For The i8 Hybrid Sports Car

Proposed electric sports car will make use of three electric motors

The BMW i8 has proven to be a big hit for BMW, so much so that the company’s i-division is already pondering the possibility of building an all-electric prototype that could eventually replace the hybrid version in the future.

According to Autocar, the prototype model will come with a larger battery and three high-revving electric motors that will take the place of the hybrid system that’s currently in use by today’s model. Official plans are still being kept under wraps, but word has it that the all-electric i8 will also be based on the same carbon fiber structure that was developed for the i division’s i8-looking fuel cell research vehicle that was unveiled back in July 2015.

The electric i8 will also likely weigh a little more than the hybrid version on account of the larger battery, although BMW doesn’t expect the weight difference to be significant considering that the current model already weighs 3,274 pounds.

Autocar also said that power will come from the three new brushless electric motors, which will send power to the car’s four wheels. One of these motors will be mounted at the front with the other two being placed at the back, taking up the space currently occupied by the current i8’s 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine. These motors are tipped to be the trump cards for the all-electric i8 as each motor is rumored to carry 268 horsepower. It doesn’t automatically follow that 268 x 3 = 804 horsepower, but it just shows the potential should the all-electric i8 come to fruition.

When that will be is another question entirely because the current hybrid i8 is due for a facelift. The heavily modified model is scheduled to hit the market in 2017 and is reported to carry a significant amount of new technology derived from BMW’s i8-based Formula E safety car. So, until the facelifts i8 hits the market, don’t expect the all-electric version to arrive anytime soon.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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BMW Individual Offers "Exterior Paint Programme" For The i8

BMW Individual Offers "Exterior Paint Programme" For The i8

If you’re buying an i8 in the U.K. you can spend $8,000 more to pick from a number of Individual exterior colors

The BMW i8 has become the definition of BMW electrified performance. With a 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder combined with an electric motor and battery pack, the i8 is able to deliver 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to get the i8 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. It has a fuel economy rating of 95 MPGe and has an all-electric range of up to 23 miles. Now, BMW U.K. is expanding its Individual program to the i8 with new paint finish options and a new set of available wheels.

The program includes the choice of a number of different exterior color options including, Speed Yellow, Solar Orange, Frozen Grey, Frozen Black, Java Green, San Marino Blue, and Twilight Purple, to name a few. As you can see from the images, the new paint finish will encompass about 90 percent of the car, leaving just a little bit of black on the roof, hood, and front bumper. Furthermore, the new gloss black W-Spoke alloy wheels add even more character to the car. According to BMW, the new finishes “Complement the i8’s styling” and “reflects the personal style of the customer.”

When talking about the new exterior paint program, BMW’s Director of Sales in the U.K., Richard Hudson, said, “The BMW i8 embodies the accomplished vision of a modern and sustainable sports car. The new paintwork colors not only complement the BMW i8s emotive styling and design, they also work harmoniously with the BMW i brand and provide customers with exclusive personalized options.”

The individual paint program and those new wheels are available at all BMW i Agents in the U.K. now with a price of £5,495 or about $7,942 at current exchange rates. The program is limited to the U.K., so if you’re one of the few U.S. owners out there, you better be willing to park your i8 on a boat for a while if you want to indulge in any of the new colors.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 BMW i8 Futurism Edition

2016 BMW i8 Futurism Edition

Special Edition i8 features livery from a piece of fine Italian art.

According to BMW, its i division stands for “visionary vehicle concepts and technologies and connected mobility services, as well as a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.” And as such, that concept is represented in 50 countries by the BMW i3 and the BMW i8, the latter of which is – according to BMW – the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car. One such country is Italy, where BMW Italia has been in the fold for the last 50 years. To celebrate those 50 years, BMW Italia and Garage Italia Customs has teamed up to create a special edition of the BMW i8.

President and Founder of Garage Italia Customs, Lapo Elkann, said, “There was immediate synergy with BMW Italia the very first time we met for the i8 Futurism Edition project. Garage Italia Customs and the BMW brand both share, in fact, all the values connected to technology evolution and the continuous search for innovation in their specific sectors. The BMW i8 Futurism Edition is a practice of style. It gave the Garage Italia Customs Maestros a chance to celebrate a car which is projected towards the future of mobility. At the same time, it honors Italian art with Giacomo Balla, who is a prominent figure of the Futurism movement.”

According to Sergio Solero, the President and CEO of BMW Italia, the BMW i8 Futurism Edition “represents the parting of a sports car of the future with Italian creativity and art.” So, with that said, let’s take a look at this new, radical-looking i8 special edition.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Futurism Edition.

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BMW Prepares Updated i8 With More Power And Extra Range

BMW Prepares Updated i8 With More Power And Extra Range

Coming to a dealership near you in 2017

Having already unveiled an updated i3 for the 2017 model year, BMW is reportedly working on an improved version of its performance-oriented hybrid, the i8. That’s the word from Autocar, which claims that a more powerful i8 with an extended range is set to hit the market by the end of next year. Details are scarce and BMW has yet to confirm such a model is underway, but the British outlet says that BMW is already testing road-going prototypes, while some features are being used in the i8-based Formula E safety car.

While the update might not bring significant changes inside and out, the drivetrain is rumored to gain a ten-percent boost over the current model. The extra oomph will come from a more powerful electric motor, but the 1.5-liter three-cylinder could also get a few additional ponies. The upcoming i8 is expected to boast a total output of around 395 horsepower versus the current 357-horsepower rating. Together with the revised six-speed automatic gearbox, the added oomph should enable the i8 to hit 60 mph from a standing start in around 4.2 seconds compared to the current 4.4-second benchmark. Top speed will most likely remain unchanged at 155 mph.

Autocar goes on to say that the current 7.1kWh battery will be replaced by the larger, 10kWh unit that BMW fitted in the Formula E safety car. This will take the i8’s mileage beyond the current 372-mile rating in hybrid mode and 22-mile on electricity alone. Further changes will reportedly include an inductive charging system as an option, chassis tweaks for improved performance, and maybe carbon-fiber wheels. The i8 is likely to be launched alongside the long-anticipated i8 roadster, which was recently confirmed by BMW chairman Harald Kruger.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Top Gear Lines Up BMW M4 Against BMW i8: Video

Top Gear Lines Up BMW M4 Against BMW i8: Video

Battle of the Bimmers pits tradition versus the future

It’s a little hard to believe that it’s been one year since the world of Top Gear was flipped upside its head after the suspension of Jeremy Clarkson and the subsequent departure of all three hosts from the BBC. Yes, time flies about as quick as a Porsche 918 Spyder on steroids. But as we wait for the new era of Top Gear to begin on May 8, 2016, the boys of Top Gear Magazine have been gamely holding down the fort. It hasn’t been said enough, but let’s all give credit to TGM Deputy Editor Jack Rix and Motoring Editor Oliver Marriage for keeping the Top Gear name alive with web segments like “Drag Races”

In the most recent episode of the always entertaining series, Rix and Marriage try to settle the growing debate surrounding the capabilities of the BMW M4 and the BMW i8. Simply put, the two try to find out which of the two sports cars is faster in a quarter-mile. Is it the traditional M4 or the futuristic i8? Despite their vastly different powertrains, both cars are more similar than you’d think. They both weigh the same. Their 0-to-60-mph sprint times are close to identical. One has power. The other has four-wheel-drive. It’s really to close to call!

Rix and Marriage prove as much at the conclusion of their drag race. I’m not going to spoil the winner here because it’s better if you watch if for yourselves. Here’s what I will tell you: it was close. Really close.

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BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements

BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements

German automaker’s i division to get a spate of new models, including the mysterious iNEXT

BMW’s 100th anniversary is turning into more than just a celebration for the Bavarian automaker. It’s also become the setting for BMW’s look into the future of its business. That much was made emphatically clear when the German automaker opened the book on a new business strategy that will focus on electric vehicles, automated driving, and revolutionary software and technology services. BMW CEO Harald Kruger dubbed it Strategy One Next, a play off of former CEO Norbert Reithofer’s Strategy One plan that was unveiled back in 2007.

One of the most pertinent points of this strategy relates to the future of the company’s all-electric i division. With the success of the i3 and i8 models, BMW is doubling down on the division by announcing plans to launch an updated version of the i3 within the year. The new model will come with a more powerful battery and improved drivetrain technology to improve its battery capacity by more than 50 percent. Likewise, an open-top roadster version of the i8 has been penciled in for 2018, thereby confirming one of BMW’s worst kept secrets of the past few years. But the real highlight of BMW’s announcement surrounding its i division is its plan to develop a third model for the all-electric family. It’s not going to be an i5 or an i7 because BMW has come to call it iNEXT. Not a lot of details have been given surrounding iNEXT, but the company did say that it will come with an all-new electric powertrain to go with new lightweight materials, an autonomous driving mode, and improved Internet mobility. Don’t expect to see the iNEXT in the near future because BMW doesn’t plan to launch it for the next five years.

Until then, expect BMW to focus a lot of its attention on other aspects of its long-winding business strategy, one of which is a multi-track powertrain developmental approach. The goal is to develop a number of different powertrain options, all of which are geared towards the future of the industry. Lithium-ion batteries are already being used by the i3 and the i8, but BMW isn’t just stopping there. Lithium-air batteries are also on the table, as are high-density solid state technology and hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

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2016 Geneva International Motor Show – Worst In Show

2016 Geneva International Motor Show – Worst In Show

Rehashed ideas, half-baked special editions, and a mechanic with an emissions fix

If you’ve been watching TopSpeed for the last week, I don’t need to tell you – the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show was simply amazing. It’s like the industry leveled up all at once, with a vast collection of drool-worthy cars on display and a flood of mind-boggling performance stats. But, unfortunately, every field of flowers inevitably comes with a few turds sprinkled in here and there. This article is about those turds.

Look, we get it – auto shows can be ruthless, especially when you’re talking about something as big as Geneva. This is where the big guns are drawn, and looking good can be a challenge when competing for attention against 1,000-horsepower rocket ships made from composite nuclear unobtainium.

Nevertheless, for each winner, there has to be a loser.

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2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition

2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition

BMW’s sports hybrid comes to Geneva with a limited-edition red suit

Officially launched in the U.S. in August of 2014, the BMW i8 has been met with huge enthusiasm, selling nearly 3,000 units as of December 2015. The hybrid sports car met its first customers at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where BMW also auctioned a special-edition model named after the event and equipped with several unique features inside and out. The car was sold for $825,000, six times the retail price of thei8. Now, BMW is preparing yet another special-edition model, this time around to be showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. It’s called the Protonic Red Edition and will enter production starting July 2016.

Much like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance edition, the Protonic Red i8 features a bespoke exterior and an custom interior with colors and stitching not available on the regular model. However, unlike the $825,000 sports car, the Protonic Red will have a sticker closer to the i8’s staring price and will be built in significantly more examples. Details as to how much it will cost and how many will be built aren’t yet available, but BMW said that the Protonic Red Edition will be available until the end of 2016.

Find out more about it below and stay tuned for updates from the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next month.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition.

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BMW Holds Off Release Of i8 Spyder

BMW Holds Off Release Of i8 Spyder

Don’t expect the sports car to arrive at least until 2017

The BMW i8 Spyder has been baking in BMW’s oven for quite some time now, and if a recent report from Motoring Australia proves to be true, it could stay there for the foreseeable feature. According to the said report, BMW is putting the development of the i8 Spyder on the back burner for the time being. As such, don’t expect the car to hit dealerships until late 2017 or even in 2018.

No specific details were offered on why the i8 Spyder would be delayed, but there does seem to be no rush from BMW to get the sports car on the road. For the time being, it appears that BMW will instead focus on another i model, the BMW i5, in response to the continued growth of rival Tesla.

So, the i5 will likely be the next i model that BMW launches, leaving the company enough time to continue working on the i8 Spyder. Changes will likely be made from the initial concept that was first teased at the 2014 and again with the i Vision Future Interaction concept that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show a few weeks earlier.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain is expected to remain the same as the one that’s powering the i8 coupe, although BMW could still tweak the system to give the i8 Spyder more power. Changes could come with the construction of the car’s body, even though BMW has insisted that the i8’s carbon fiber structure would be strong enough to accommodate the loss of torsional rigidity that a roof provides. Still, this delay could just be BMW’s way of going back to the drawing board to make the necessary changes in the i8 Spyder’s structure.

Only time will tell if any changes are made to the car. For now, don’t expect to see the BMW i8 Spyder anytime soon. That much appears to be a certainty.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept

2016 BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept

As the BMW i8 continues to make its mark as a high-tech, cutting edge green supercar, the brand is on the lookout for ways to ensure that it remains at the absolute peak of the “hey, that’s cool” technology wave. To that end, BMW showed the i8 Mirrorless Concept at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While identical to the production i8 at a casual glance, it’s quickly obvious where this concept’s name is derived from.

This i8 has done away with low-tech slabs of silvered glass entirely, replacing the mirrors with an array of three rear-facing cameras. In addition to eliminating blind spots, the camera display can flash warning messages if the driver is about to merge in front of a faster-moving vehicle or perform a similarly hazardous maneuver. Additionally, the display is larger than a traditional mirror would be, and mounted on the dash to reduce driver eye motions. The display can also adjust itself in response to the steering wheel being turned, angling in the direction of travel when the car is backing up.

Concepts with cameras replacing the mirrors are nothing new. BMW hasn’t made any noises about whether this concept will go into production or not, but considering the technological resources it has already on hand, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to call this one plausible.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept.

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BMW M3 Vs. BMW i8 Hybrid: Video

BMW M3 Vs. BMW i8 Hybrid: Video

For those of you who have gotten used to spending a part of your holidays watching Top Gear’s Christmas Special, it does feel like there’s something missing this year. Sure, there will technically be a special episode, but it’s not the kind that we’ve come to love. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May won’t be doing they usual escapades in God-knows-where because they’re no longer a part of Top Gear. Instead, we’ll see a “best of” episode featuring some of the trio’s most memorable moments in the show. It’s different, but at least we’ll get one last hurrah with the three amigos before we catch them on Amazon Prime next season.

In the meantime, Top Gear’s YouTube channel did post a nostalgic piece on what might be one of Clarkson’s last comparison tests on Top Gear. It features two stalwarts of BMW’s range - the M3 and the i8 - and how one compares to the other. Yeah, it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but Clarkson’s right when he said that we live in “strange” times. One of BMW’s pillars being compared to its newest and most talked-about sports car. Strange, indeed. But, that’s the thing; you have to look past the obvious differences to understand that picking one over the other is a lot more difficult than you’d imagine. Do you take the M3 and it’s top-class features or do you take the i8 and its new-age bells and whistles?

Ever the outspoken one, Clarkson tried to find out. The video itself doesn’t appear to cover the whole segment, but in those eight minutes, Jeremy was able to make the case for both cars, highlighting what one does better over the other and vice versa. It’s a nice clip to watch, especially if you’re in the position of having to choose one or the other. And if for nothing else, it’s one of the last segments we’ll ever see from Jeremy Clarkson at Top Gear. That alone makes watching this video worth the eight minutes.

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Fire-Totaled BMW i8 For Sale On Craigslist

Fire-Totaled BMW i8 For Sale On Craigslist

The things one can find on a site like Craigslist never ceases to amaze me. A few days ago, I stumbled into a listing on the Nashville Craigslist of a seller trying to unload a badly burned BMW i8 for a whopping $13,000. The post has since been taken down, presumably because someone’s already bought it. Then again, the seller might not have wanted the attention he was receiving from news outlets.

In any case, the i8 in question is the same one in these photos and it’s pretty crispy. According to the seller, a short circuit in the headlights started the fire. The majority of the car’s front and mid sections are basically beyond repair. Fortunately, everything from the behind the doors is supposedly still in working condition, including the carbon fiber tub, the turbocharged engine, and the transmission. That’s probably why the i8 was priced at that amount, giving prospective buyers the opportunity to salvage these working parts and sell them separately.

At least that’s what I thought when I first saw the ad. Now that it’s been pulled down, it seems somebody has taken up the seller on his offer.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2015 BMW i8

2015 BMW i8

BMW’s supercar, the M1, was sold between 1978 to 1981 as the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. But you’d expect more from a maker like BMW, right? And with all the competition on the market, BMW had to do something about it, so they decided to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show into production.

There is one distinct change for the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept as it heads into production, as BMW changed its name to the i8. Along with the recently announced i3, the i8 shows the other end of the spectrum that the German automaker can reach with its hybrid drivetrains. The production i8 will, surprisingly, carry the concept’s in-line three-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to drive the front wheels.

As of now, there is only one i8 model set for production, but we have a sneaking suspicion that there may be an M or M Sport model in coming years.

Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming i8

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2015 BMW Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Vehicle

2015 BMW Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Vehicle

Every major automotive manufacturer is looking into the best ways to implement alternative fuels, and BMW is doing one of the more impressive jobs of it. After having heavily invested in battery technology, and even managing to make an impressive production battery vehicle in the form of the 2015 BMW i8, BMW is now looking to hedge its alternative fuel bets by also investing in hydrogen. Of course, hydrogen-powered cars have been around for some time, both in the form of hydrogen combustion engines and also as fuel cells. BMW has been involved in quite a bit of research in this area, but with this debut of the i8 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Vehicle, the reality of a hydrogen BMW in dealerships looks to be much closer.

The system was also put into a 2014 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, but that’s somewhat more difficult to get excited about, the i8 being the clear winner in the looks department. It produces 245 horsepower and offers a 300-mile range. That’s a pretty good range for an all-electric, but as BMW points out, refueling is very quick with hydrogen, so the range issues that battery vehicles face aren’t really an issue here.

Updated 07/15/2915: The guys over Cars Video unveiled some driving scenes of the recently announced i8 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Vehicle. Check them out to hear what the future sounds like. It’s spooky.

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More Powerful BMW i8 Will Be Unveiled Next Year

More Powerful BMW i8 Will Be Unveiled Next Year

BMW will celebrate a century of doing business next year, and to mark the triple-digit milestone, the automaker is rumored to be working on a beefed-up version of its i8 hybrid sports car. It’s believed the new i8 will bring with it more power, a quicker 0-to-60 time, a more hardcore interior, and a new exterior look.

The speculation stems from a recent post made by the British publication AutoExpress, which cites an unidentified company insider. The rumors also echo those coming from a report made late last year by the U.K.-based publication CAR. 

While the i8’s stiff, lightweight composite chassis and hybrid drivetrain is supposedly capable of handling a buff of up to 300 extra horsepower, the new i8’s power increase wouldn’t be that extreme. Bimmer’s engineers will most likely replace the current twin-turbo, three-cylinder gas engine, which produces 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, with a more potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit. The new ICE would chuck out over 300 horsepower, which would boost total output (when combined with the electric motor) to roughly 450 horsepower. 

A sub-four-second 0-to-60 time is the target acceleration spec, as compared to the current vehicle’s 4.2 seconds to 60. While the larger four-banger engine will add heft, BMW will most likely preserve the car’s current curb weight of 3,285 pounds by using unpainted carbon fiber body panels and a stripped-out interior that eliminates the ’barely there anyway’ rear seats. 

Finally, the new i8 will probably boast a revamped exterior, with a wider and lower body, more aggressive aero and ground effects, and bigger wheels and brakes.

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BMW's New Boss Drops Plans for the M8 and i8s

BMW’s New Boss Drops Plans for the M8 and i8s

Norbert Reithofer is set to step down as the CEO of BMW on May 13th, but his successor and former production chief, Harald Krueger, is already starting to shake things up with the elimination of the i8S, M8, and other key Bimmer and Mini concepts.

The i8S was all but confirmed just months ago, but now this higher-output version of the already impressive i8 is on the scrapheap. Another high-profile BMW concept turned reject under the new regime is the M8. Initial reports about the M8 claimed it would share most of its styling elements with the i8, but under its hood, it would have a twin-turbo V-8 with about 600 horsepower.

While both the i8S and the M8 were awesome on paper, neither made too much business sense. Both would take away from potential i8 sales, despite the power and price differences, and there just isn’t much room in Bimmer’s customer base for this many supercars.

Also gone are the 9 Series coupe, the Z2 Roadster, and the 2 Series GT. The report from Automobile Magazine goes on to claim that Krueger also sent a few undisclosed Mini concepts packing.

In the midst of all this spring cleaning, there was one concept that remained: the i5. According to the report, the i5 will receive the go-ahead later in 2015 as a traditional, three-box sedan with a pure-electric powertrain or a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The all-electric model will reportedly use a 225-horsepower motor in the rear and a 135-horsepower motor up front, while the plug-in hybrid would use a 275-horsepower electric motor and either a three- or four-cylinder engine.

Continue reading to learn more about the elimination of these models.

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BMW i8 Wins 2015 World Green Car Award

BMW i8 Wins 2015 World Green Car Award

Most people would never have guessed that BMW’s first mid-engine sportscar since the M1 would go on to win a "World Green Car Of The Year" award, but the i8 actually did it at the 2015 edition of the event. The i8 is the second BMW model to win the award in a row, after the smaller i3 cliched victory in the World Green Car Category in 2014, and the third model if we also include the title won by the BMW 118d in 2008.

"I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the team in Munich," said Dr. Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing BMW, speaking at the Award Ceremony in New York. "The BMW i8 represents the future with its unique lightweight construction and unrivaled connectivity. To win this award for the second year in a row shows that our BMW i products are truly leading the world."

Even though it is touted as the first plug-in hybrid built by BMW and it features low-rolling resistance tires, the i8 is also a sports car at heart. The model is powered by a turbocharged, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. An electric motor delivers an extra 129 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, essentially making the i8 all-wheel-drive and giving it a combined output of 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough for a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a 155 mph top speed.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8.

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BMW Doubled i8 Production Due To Strong Demand

BMW Doubled i8 Production Due To Strong Demand

The BMW i8 is selling like hotcakes, and has been since the German manufacturer opened the order books for the hybrid sports car. It took only a couple of months for the i8 to sell out in the UK, and three more for the Euro-spec model’s waiting list to grow to a whopping 18 months. That period has decreased to around four months in 2015, but it’s quite obvious that the Germans are still struggling to keep up with demand. As a result, BMW decided to double i8 production at its plant in Leipzig, according to company production boss Harald Krueger. The facility now builds 20 cars a day, which should help shorten the waiting period to a more reasonable two months.

BMW increased production of the i8 nearly 12 months after it did the same with the other i vehicle in its lineup, the i3. The electric compact car, which sold more than 10,000 units globally last year, is facing different problems, as certain markets do not offer sufficient incentives for the zero-emission car. "Wherever governments offer tangible incentives for e-mobility, the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar," BMW Group CEO Norbert Reithofer said at the company’s annual press conference in Munich. To help improve the acceptance of the technology and widen its appeal among younger drivers, BMW will start rolling out the i3 across its global DriveNow car-sharing fleet in London, San Francisco, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich later this year.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8.

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BMW i8 Joins Dubai Police Fleet

BMW i8 Joins Dubai Police Fleet

If it rides on four wheels and costs a lot of money, you can probably find it rolling around somewhere in Dubai. And while it’s true that the general populace usually sees their transportation needs met by some form of exotic machinery, the local police force is equally keen on being whisked to and fro in something lavish, excessive, and very fast.

We’ve seen Bugatti Veyron cruisers and Lotus Evora ambulances, and now it looks as though the BMW i8 will join the ranks of white-and-green, UAE-style law enforcement.

And why not? Not only will the hybrid sports car have the speed necessary to track down baddies, but it’ll also save a few Dirhams at the gas pump, all in super-efficient, Euro eco-luxury.

While extravagant, the addition of an i8 to the Dubai police fleet shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the list of other high-dollar cars in service. A partial inventory would include the Lexus RC F, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Lamborghini Aventador, Nissan GT-R, Ferrari FF, Bentley Continental GT, Mercedes SLS, Aston Martin One-77, Ferrari 458, McLaren MP4 12C, Mercedes G63, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, and the Audi R8.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8.

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BMW i8 Will Be Updated For Geneva

BMW i8 Will Be Updated For Geneva

BMW is updating its plug-in electric hybrid sports car, the i8, with additional standard equipment for the Geneva Motor Show, set to kick off in March. There will be new options for interior styling, and inclusion of the Pure Impulse Experience program, which, according to a press release, comprises “exclusive lifestyle options in the areas of culture, design, travel and gastronomy in keeping with the progressive and sustainable ‘next premium’ approach of the BMW i brand.” 

Basically, that means members get benefits like a membership to Club magazine, invitations to attend special events, tips on finding new eco-resorts, and opportunities to dine in some of the top restaurants. 

The update coincides with additional international services now available to i3 and i8 customers. Dubbed the 360° ELECTRIC program, i owners may now participate in things like ChargeNow, an expanding charging and payment service with fast-charge stations supporting international roaming. Or there’s ParkNow, the web- and app-based service to help drivers find parking spaces in hundreds of cities across North America, filtering through search results by price, distance, and availability of charging services and car washes. There’s also DriveNow, which arranges car-sharing options among 390,000 registered users in the U.S. and Europe. Finally, BMW is taking on a “second-life” project in the U.S., Germany, and China, whereby lithium-ion batteries that have passed their roadworthiness life cycles are recycled as stationary energy-storage devices. 

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

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BMW Plans Electric M Models, But They Are Still Years Away

BMW Plans Electric M Models, But They Are Still Years Away

In a bid to clean up average emissions numbers, BMW is looking to transform its lineup with a sweeping conversion to electric power over the course of the next 10 years. Spearheading this change will be the 3 Series, one of the German marque’s leading volume sellers. However, despite offering sporty hybrid models like the i8, Bimmer says it’s not quite ready to flip the switch on its performance-oriented M cars. 

That’s the word coming from Aussie website CarAdvice, which spoke to Carsten Pries, head of product management at BMW’s M division. In an interview at the international launch for the X6 M crossover, Pries commented on the commercial viability of electric vehicles, stating: “this is the most difficult questions to answer, of when it will be more than just a trend to standout from the crowd, something that is really relevant for the majority of the people in the market. That, from our expectation, is still a few years down the road.”

Pries went on to say that while it’s unlikely you’ll find an M badge on the i8 or i3, an electric M model was still possible at some point in the future: “Would we like to do something else stand alone? You can wake up every one of the 550 employees [of M division] and they will tell you ‘yes’… Whether it’s commercially viable or sensible, that’s a different question.”

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s electric plans.

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Supercar Buyers Guide After the Detroit Auto Show

Supercar Buyers Guide After the Detroit Auto Show

If the 2015 North American International Auto Show is a litmus test for the future of the automotive industry, sports car enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to. This year’s Detroit show had an eclectic mix of introductions ranging from high-efficiency green cars to pickup trucks, but most surprising was the large number of high-horsepower performance cars.

Regardless of what type of performance you like, the Detroit Auto Show had it. There were high-powered sedans like the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and 2016 Lexus GS F, there are more practical vehicles like Mercedes GLE63 AMG S Coupe and Ford F-150 Raptor and traditional sports coupes like the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R also had their time to shine. Stealing the spotlight, though, was the debut of two awe-inspiring supercars: the 2017 Ford GT and the production version (finally) of the Acura NSX

While both of these cars showcase the future that awaits supercar enthusiasts, they both do so in slightly different manners. The Ford GT, which will enter production next year in time to run in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, is all about racing with an aero-tuned body and the “most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever,” with initial estimates rating this mid-mounted, twin-turbo V-6 at more than 600 horsepower. The 2016 Acura NSX is more of a high-tech beast with a mid-engine, twin-turbo V-6 producing "north of 550 horsepower," which is paired to a three-motor electric drive system resulting in the latest version of Acura’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Of course, we still have to wait for pricing on both of these new offerings, but it seems like the NSX will start in the $150,000 range while the GT will likely be a bit higher.

The birth of the hypercar may have already changed how we, as enthusiasts, look at sports cars (including the high-end supercars), but for now, we take a look at how the newest breed of supercars — those that have debuted over the last year — stack up against the Ford GT and Acura NSX.

Click past the jump to read more about how recently introduced supercars compare to the new Ford GT and Acura NSX.

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