So why do I think the BMW i8 is well on its way to a place in the sports car hall of fame?
One: Because in its way it is a cut-price Porsche 918 Spyder. It’s not as quick outright as the 918, obviously, but compared with most other cars on the road it is more than quick enough. And in just about every other way it’s at least as clever as the 918 technically and ecologically. And yet it costs eight times less.
Two: It’ll do at least 60mpg on a give-and-take motorway journey. The very worst it will return is low-to-mid 30mpg, and that’s only if you thrash it like a maniac everywhere. Realistically you are looking at between 55-75mpg assuming you use a bit of e-propulsion every now and again in towns and so on. For me, and despite the fact that the theoretical claim is 134.5mpg on the combined cycle, that’s still a phenomenal achievement.
Three: In the flesh, in amongst everyday traffic, it looks as arresting and interesting and just plain good as any car I’ve driven in a very long time indeed.
Four: In sport mode its 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine makes a noise that sounds, if not full-blown lovely then very appealing on the ear. And it’s a real sound, not a digitised one. Fair enough, the sound it makes is then amplified via the speakers to make it feel and sound more dramatic, but all BMW has done is turn the volume up on the actual sound being made by the engine. And the sound made by the engine – and its turbocharger – is great.