2015 BMW i8
Base price $135,700
For futuristic looks and exhilarating performance without the need for a gas-guzzling V-6 or V-8 engine; look no further than the BMW
i8. If any car is going to turn us on to electric mobility, it’s likely to be this one. The i8 is a truly revolutionary sports
car that features an electric motor to power the front wheels and a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline engine that powers the rear wheels. This means it is capable of running on electricity only for a silent and immensely economical drive, as a sporty but more conventional hybrid, or with both powertrains working together to deliver maximum performance. The front-mounted electric motor is rated at 131-horsepower with 184 pound-feet of torque that gives the BMW
a top speed of 75 mph in electric-only mode. The gasoline engine that runs through a six-speed automatic transmission is rated at 231-horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. In “Max Emode,” the i8 has an electric-only range of 22 miles, whereas “Comfort Mode” engages both powertrains for maximum efficiency and delivers a range of 310 miles. The total power rating with both powertrains operating fully is 362-horsepower, which means 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds and a 135 mph top speed. The i8 is billed as a 2+2, but the rear seats are only big enough for shopping bags if we’re completely honest.