I’d been waiting a while for this moment, carefully running in the BMW i8’s tiny three-cylinder engine until it was ready for some proper work.
I recalled the car’s press launch and being rather impressed by its ability to maintain considerable point-to-point pace with little apparent effort. But there was nothing in my first month with the i8 that suggested a repeat performance was likely. It just hasn’t felt like a sports car - and I mean that largely as a compliment.
It has an extremely relaxed gait, even when you’re not cruising around powered by electrons alone. Its ultra-long wheelbase, 2+2 configuration and skinny tyres appeared not to lend themselves to a road warrior’s disposition at all.
As it happens, you’d need a McLaren P1 before you’d find a car that changed character more at the flick of a switch. Knock the BMW's gear selector to the left, watch the dials turn from soothing blue to angry orange and a tacho replace the power reserve gauge and listen to a sharp, angry bark emanate from the engine bay. And then it’s off.