In our increasingly electrified world, two pioneers have stood taller than others
We were surprised as well. Only one Porsche has ever been crowned TG’s Car of the Year, and it’s the one without a combustion engine. Meanwhile, no BMW M car has ever taken the top prize. The only Beemers to walk away with the laurels are an executive saloon still held in high regard today, and a petrol-electric sports car that bravely looked to a future that hasn’t materialised. Raises the question really: which of this pair is a surefire future classic?
We know a winner when we see one. BMW’s £900m investment in its i range is now a cautionary tale of how to go too far, too fast with cars of the future, with the i3 and i8 now relegated to history and the current range taking the far more conventional shape of stuff like the iX1, i4 and i7. The only ‘bespoke’ EV BMW makes these days is the iX. A fine luxury pod dressed up like a robo-hippo, but a far cry from the days when bespoke aluminium chassis bore recycled carbon-fibre superstructures.
When aerodynamics, not marketing, styled the cars. When BMW would sell you a butterfly door streamliner powered by a 3cyl Mini engine tuned to deliver over 230bhp, boosted by an electric motor for 0–62mph in 4.4secs, plus claimed economy of 134mpg. Not the i8’s fault the test cycle was laughably flawed.
Read more: TopGear