iPioneer.

In March, when the first BMW i8s entered the country, Ayis Kyriacou was lucky enough to snag one. We caught up with him to talk cars and the BMW i8 after a month of living in the future.

Published: July 2015
Video/Photos: Aubrey Jonsson

“The i8 for me is a game-changing car. It’s so ahead of its time. That’s what I liked about it. It is such a complete car in terms of being able to offer you that Jekyll and Hyde personality. Often, when I had other sports cars, I would be driving in my daily vehicle, and I’d think to myself, man, if I had my Porsche or my Lamborghini now… The i8 can give you that immediately. If you really feel like some drama, all you have to do is put it in sport mode and you’ve got a different car. If you’re in traffic, you don’t have to deal with a highly strung vehicle. You just go into electric mode, and it’s quiet. It doesn’t bother anybody.

“I’ve had a number of sports cars over the years: a Porsche and two Lamborghinis. I’ve also got a Rolls Royce. But the i8 gets the most attention. It’s unbelievable. People stop in the parking lot and get out of their cars to pose with it and take photos. It’s crazy! In the 80s, the Lamborghini Countach was the ultimate poster car. I feel that this, right now, is the poster car. It’s got the lines, the two-tone exterior. It’s out there. BMW really, really hit the nail on the head with it: the i8 looks like nothing else on the road.

This, right now, is the poster car. It’s got the lines, the two-tone exterior. It’s out there.

“I didn’t think I would drive it every day. Then I thought, hang on, the point of a car like this is that you can use it because it’s so economical, so futuristic and technologically advanced. So now I drive it every day.

“When anything comes out for the first time and it’s a massive jump up, the product usually isn’t that good. When the first cellphone came out, it was great to have because you could walk around and talk on the phone, but, actually, it wasn’t a good product. If the i8 represents that phase of development, I don’t even want to know what cars are going to be like five years from now. They’re going to be spectacular.

“When people started saying that sports cars with big engines were history, it was disappointing. I thought, what’s going to happen to the sports car? Is it over for us guys who love them? The answer is no, not a chance. It almost feels like they are going to get cooler now. It’s exciting because it means there is some good stuff coming up.”

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If you really feel like some drama, all you have to do is put it in sport mode and you’ve got a different car.

BMW’s distinctive kidney grille is given a modern makeover in the front of the BMW i8, losing nothing of its recognisability while looking, in Ayi’s words, “like nothing else on the road”: exuding futurism and efficiency and sporting credibility all at once. The scissor doors continue the boldly futuristic design language.
iPioneer Ayis Kyriacou was one of the first South Africans to take ownership of the BMW i8.
The surfaces and lines of the i8 overlap is a design revolution that sees details like the taillights integrated the with the rear fender, creating a unique aerodynamic tunnel.
Model facts: BMW i8
Output (combustion engine)
kW (hp)
170 (231)
Output (electric motor)
kW (hp)
96 (131)
Overall system output kW (hp)
266 (362)
Torque (combustion engine)
Nm
320
Torque (electric motor)
Nm
250
Torque combined Nm
570
Top speed km/h
250
Top speed (electric) km/h
120
Acceleration
0-100 km/h in s
4,4
Acceleration
80-120 km/h (5th gear) in s
4,0
Air resistance (Cd value)
0,26
Range
(combined I electric) km
600* I 37
Consumption (EU) l/100 km
2,1
CO2 emissions g/km
49