This is from Jalopnik’s review of the i8.
Within 30 minutes of getting it, I had dozens of people take cell phone pictures, gawk at it, give me a thumbs up, I was pulled over by one curious dude in a Camaro, and had two cops stop and take pictures and look. This was all in 30 minutes. I took it to a Porsche dealer, salesmen ran out, stopped me from pulling away, and took it pictures of it and with it. One even said “this is way better than a Porsche.” It was parked near the highway at the Porsche dealer, and it actually made traffic.
…Mass producing lightweight carbon fiber for a road car is a huge deal. For decades, carbon fiber was supposed to be for people with millions of dollars who could afford the superest of supercars. But BMW is the first to bring carbon fiber to the people with the i3 and the i8. Yes, the i8’s range is just 20 miles on electric, which isn’t even close to the Volt, but the construction of the i8 is the next generation while the Volt feels old in comparison.
On performance and price, the i8 technically competes with cars like the Audi R8, Porsche 911, Mercedes-AMG GT, Corvette, and others of that ilk. But in the real world, this is like flying an F22 Raptor in 1945. Compared to everything else in its class, the i8 feels like the first generation of something new and exciting. The other cars feel like the last generation of something that has been around forever.
When the NSX was first released, it was praised for its combination of everyday usability and new tech. At the time, it was a serious accomplishment to make supercar that didn’t break backs or constantly fall apart.
Our test car did not fail to draw attention, and most people in jaded, car-and-money-conscious Newport Beach knew what it was, even while admitting it was the first they had seen.
The Acura NSX was the very first production car to have an all-aluminum monocoque structure, with extruded aluminum suspension parts, and dent-resistant body panels. Compared to a conventional steel design, Honda’s supercar was 500 lbs lighter than it should have been.
…Not only was Honda’s supercar just as fast a Ferrari, it comfortable and easy to drive too. The interior had a cockpit feel to it, with lots of glass, and ergonomically designed controls.
The i8 and NSX are both concept cars turned into reality. The NSX was born as the 1984 Honda Pininfarina Experimental, then morphed into the Honda New Sportscar experimental. NSX launched as a production car in 1990. The i8 was born as the 2008 BMW M1 Homage, then turned into the 2009 BMW Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics. Launching this year as the 2015 BMW i8.
Both are mid-engined sports cars with production firsts in structural materials. Both are current design languages pushed to the extreme. Both punch above their class at a fraction of the expected cost. And, ignoring the part-Lamborghini part-BMW M1, both are the respective company’s first halo “supercar”.