Simon Said - The Future Has Landed
So I took the plunge and ordered a BMW i8. Was it the right decision?
Stepping from a full fat, twin turbo, 600bhp V8 (the M6) into a three cylinder, 1500cc iPhone on wheels isn't the obvious move for a petrolhead fond of speed and power. Sure, it looks like a prop from Blade Runner but can you really get excited about something which whooshes when you'd normally expect a roar, hasn't required the felling of a rare breed of forest to decorate the interior, and that you have to remember to put on charge when you get home? (good luck)
It's early days yet but the surprising answer appears to be yes. The eureka moment came this weekend when for my first proper drive I visited a client in a ski resort which until the day before hadn't seen a flake of snow all winter, but overnight had become a slippery white piste. Usually in these situations you call to explain to a fellow car guy that your rear-wheel drive sports car can't get any further, and would he mind collecting you? When the i8 arrived up his Land Rover access-only driveway he couldn't believe his eyes. What's that? A McLaren? A Huracan? Oh, really? Mind if I take a closer look?
One day I'll find the resolve to read the owner's manual but in the meantime I'm loving it. Next test: the gladiatorial arena known as the Italian Autostrada. Let's see how battery boy fares against the take-no-prisoners local heroes.