What is it?
The BMW i8, a car that has more depth and range to its dynamic abilities than almost any other car in history.
Its hybrid power train and hybrid carbon/aluminium mid-engined chassis will enable it to hit 62mph in a mere 4.4secs and take apart the very best driving roads that bonny Scotland has to offer.
Press the right buttons, select the correct modes within its numerous dynamic menus and it is, quite simply, a sharp, fast and highly engaging sports car to drive. One that's as quick as it is composed, sounds like the real deal, steers like the real deal, stops and handles like the real deal and just is, in conventional sports car terms, the real deal.
And yet on the other side of the coin - or on the other side of the gear lever, to be accurate - the i8 has an entire ocean of altogether different tricks up its sleeve. Literally at the press of a button, it can be transformed from snarling, incisive sports car into a chilled, relaxing, smooth riding, near effortless cruising machine; one that can deliver a genuine 60mpg+ in the real world (or a theoretical 134.5mpg on paper) and which emits just 49g/km of CO2.
Never before has such a vast range of dynamic attributes been available under just one roof, and maybe the most amazing thing of all about the i8 is that pretty much everything it does, it does well. Given that it costs less than £95,000 once the government grant has been taken into account, you even begin to wonder if the i8 isn't, in fact, a loss leader for BMW in return for showcasing Munich's intentions for the future.
And if it isn't - if it really does turn out to be a profit-making vehicle just like a 3 or a 5-series, then it really is very clever indeed.
Think about it. The i8's carbon/aluminium mid-engined chassis alone would be enough to justify its price from most other manufacturers, but in reality this is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the i8's development and engineering costs.
Put it another way. How many other sports cars can you think of that cost less than six figures that have a combustion engine as sophisticated as the i8's three cylinder turbo.
As well as that, think about how those cars that are also four wheel drive, feature two gearboxes, three electric motors, 200kg of lithium ion batteries. And also have body parts made from aluminium and carbon reinforced plastic to provide a surprisingly lithe combined kerb weight of just 1560kg, and which contain so much software that they could probably run the Large Hadron Collider machine in their spare time. Not much of a list, is it?
Whether it is profit making for BMW or not will be of no concern to its potential customers, however, who will instead be rather more interested in the way it drives and what it’s like to sit in, ride in, revel in and, of course, own.