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BMW i8 hands-on: the hybrid supercar at rest

BMW i8 hands-on: the hybrid supercar at rest

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There's only two BMW i8 concepts in the world, and BMW had one tucked away in an NYC warehouse today for us to play with.

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Gallery Photo: BMW i8: the supercar at rest
Gallery Photo: BMW i8: the supercar at rest

If you happened to catch Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol when it hit Blu-ray and streaming services this past week, you might have noticed Tom Cruise tooling around in a very sleek hybrid sports car — the BMW i8. Although a production version is set to arrive sometime next year, right now there's only two of them in the world, and BMW had one tucked away in an NYC warehouse today for us to play with. Literally just today: it's being taken back to Germany on a cargo jet tomorrow for another event.

It's a little weird being this up close and personal with a concept supercar — it's about a half-and-half mix of functional futuristic technology and blinky-lights mockups. Fortunately, the big stuff is all real: the car is drivable, those insane gullwing doors flip right open, and the Laserlight headlights do indeed provide light from lasers. It's the little stuff that doesn't work: none of the dashboard animations were real, most of the interior is a mockup, and we doubt BMW is actually going to build the doors out of glass.

BMW says this model is slightly newer than the one in Mission Impossible 4, and that the hybrid drivetrain is good to hit 60mph in around 4.6 seconds while still getting 78mpg. Obviously those numbers are a bit hypothetical until a real i8 arrives on dealer lots, but even getting in the range would be impressive. Then again, with an estimated list price of something like $150,000 — more for the topless Spyder edition revealed last month — this thing had better impress.


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