BMW M3 Petrol vs BMW i8 Hybrid

BMW M3 Petrol vs BMW i8 Hybrid

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Jeremy reviews the BMW M3 but is this new BMW the perfect car? From , Series 22 Episode 4.Subscribe for more awesome videos: YouTube channel: TopGear.com website: Facebook: Twitter:

Well, here it is,
slithering about on our track. Look at that. I mean, that's just…
the M3 signature dish. But, straightaway, I must tell you
there's a bit of a niggle. If you stick the tail out in a corner,
which you can easily, because it's an M3, you'll find it very hard
to hold the drift, because the power steering
is now electric rather than hydraulic. Going round a corner like this is like wrestling with the tail
of an excitable crocodile. It's not just hard to hold the slide. It's also hard to straighten up
again afterwards. See what I mean? Now, I admit, in the real world, this isn't going to be
much of a problem… ever, if I'm honest. And anyway,
you can solve it by taking the steering out of Sport Plus mode
and putting it in Comfort mode. Then everything is fine. Oh, yeah! In fact, everything is more than fine.
Everything is absolutely sublime! I'm not going to beat about the bush.
This car is… utterly brilliant. It's well made. It's got seating for four.
It's got a decent-sized boot. It's comfortable. It's quiet.
It's got lots of standard equipment. In many ways,
this car is like the perfect dog. It's loyal. It's cute.
It doesn't chase sheep, It doesn't go wrong all the time
and yet, if a burglar comes, it has the power to rip his throat out. "Look at me! I'm an attack dog now!
I'm fierce and bitey!" And that really is that. It is a fabulous, wonderful car
and if you have £56,000 lying around, you should buy one immediately. Or should you? Because today, we live in strange times…
environmental times. And BMW has another new car
which reflects that. It's one of the most talked-about cars
in years and this is it. It's called the i8 and it's a hybrid, which means
it's powered by an electric motor and a tiny three cylinder, 1.5 litre,
turbo-charged petrol engine. That doesn't sound like much of a recipe. Sounds like
a sort of glorified Toyota Prius, but let me give you the headline figures. This car does 155 miles an hour and 134 miles to the gallon. And because it's so economical, you get a £5,000 grant
from the government if you buy one. It's exempt
from the London Congestion Charge and the road-tax bill,
as you can see here, is… nil. It really does sound, then,
like this car answers everyone's prayers, but does it? Are pure-bred petrol heads like me
really going to say: "Mm, yes, what I really want next
is a three-cylinder hybrid?" Well, that is
what I'm going to try and find out. I'm going to set the satellite navigation
for Whitby in North Yorkshire Now, the reason I've chosen Whitby is, A, you get the best fish and chips
in the world there. And B, the M3 we saw earlier
is waiting for me there, which means, when I arrive,
I will face a simple choice. Will I want to drive home in that or this? With the sat nav looking for
the most economical route to Whitby, I put my sensible head on and settled down
for a 200 mile fact-finding mission. You have a choice of three driving modes. Number one, electric drive.
That's the electric motor only. Gives you a range of 20 miles,
19 more than you get from a Prius and probably enough for you
to do your morning commute. Then, if you move the gear lever
over here, you engage sport mode. That means the electric motor
and the petrol engine are working together
to give 352 horsepower and it makes the car sort of firm
and bitey and Nurburgringy. But, since we are on the A1,
I shall go for… comfort mode. Lovely. And it really was lovely. I know there's an electric motor
in the front, driving the front wheels through
a two-speed automatic gearbox. I know there's a petrol engine
at the back, driving the rear wheels through
a six-speed automatic gearbox. I also know there's
another small electric motor at the back, filling in the gaps
and doing all sorts of clever things. And yet, sitting here, this car feels
no weirder to drive than that… whatever it is,
that hatchback thing there. I've got a steering wheel,
gear lever, accelerator, brake and Ken Bruce on the radio. How normal is that? BBC Radio 2! But there's a problem. If you're driving in comfort mode, you're not really charging up
the batteries and, eventually,
they are going to go flat. One solution is to turn off the motorway
and charge them up at the mains, but, as you're about to see,
this is not to be recommended. "Connect your vehicle and validate." Look, I can operate a Hoover! Oh, this is stupid! Well, it must… It must be charging. It's plugged in, so… I shall go and get a cup of coffee. After an hour,
I went back to the car and found that the charging point hadn't worked. If you had a pure electric car,
you would be completely stuffed, but this is not a pure electric car. So, I'm not. I can either drive along
without the batteries, or I can put the gear lever over here
to engage sport mode and then they're being charged up,
as I drive along. What's more,
in sport mode, the i8 is properly fast. I scoffed when BMW said
they were going to make a hybrid that was as fast as a 911,
or a Chevrolet Corvette, but… it really is!

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