Spannerhead Dot

The Coming Revolution:
BMW i8 Prototype Spotted

December 29, 2011 by Matt

BMW i8 Concept White Blue

No, not the concept car shown above, gamboling through the forests even as it saves them; the actual production vehicle has been spied testing, draped in camouflage.

The Car and Driver post linked to makes a few perceptive observations based on what’s apparent underneath the camo, among them that the concept’s full-length glass doors will be toned down in favor of more conventional openings, and that the proportions and details certainly look more real-world friendly even as the mule retains many of the concept’s more outré elements, such as active aero and butterfly doors.

Any casual Spannerhead reader will be aware of my skepticism toward the current trendiness of alternative propulsion, but in the case of BMW, if they’re going to do this, as it were, they’re doing it well. By sequestering their hyper-efficient “city car” (the i3) and more ambitious foray into hybrid performance (the i8) in their own separate sub-brand—BMW i—the automaker’s uncompromising performance image remains more untarnished than it would otherwise. Note that I didn’t say completely unsullied; the pillars the brand is established on have definitely taken a hit with all the talk of FWD and V6-powered cars, but keeping the new propulsion technology corralled in its own area is step in the right direction. It liberates us BMW loyalists, frees us to actually express interest in the i8 without being tempted to dismiss the whole endeavor out of hat as an unsupportable selling-out of the BMW legacy. I, for one, am eager to see the finished product.

Filed under: Alternative Propulsion, BMW, News


  1. John D says:

    This is the car they featured in the newest Mission Impossible, right? (The one in the pic, that is). Seemed a bit misplaced to me. This was supposed to be an action movie, not a science fiction thriller. Oh, who am I kidding…Tom Cruise is pretty much the definitive spiritual space cadet, so I guess it’s only fitting.

    • Matt says:

      That’s the one. I haven’t seen the movie, so I had to look it up. Seems like it would be miscast. Wouldn’t be the first time Cruise traveled in a concept car, though—he was behind the wheel of an even more futuristic Lexus in Minority Report (excellent movie).

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