The i8 is one of the few modern BMWs that gets a unique cabin design, ditching the brand's conservative cookie-cutter approach to interior layout. As a result, it has as much personality inside as it does outside, and that matters in a car like this. There is a clear focus on the driver with a heavily angled dashboard center stack and advanced digital dials. Carbon fiber interior trim, distinctive blue accents, and smart perforated leather seats are all highlights of the sporty cabin. While most of it feels appropriately solid, there are a few too many plastic buttons for our liking in a car of this price. Power-adjustable and heated front seats, along with dual-zone climate control and a Harman Kardon audio system, are among the standard features.
Officially a 2+2, this means that the i8 can seat two in front in comfort, while there should theoretically be space for two in the back for shorter trips. In reality, these back seats will only comfortably accommodate children - both leg- and headroom are severely restricted. The front perches are much better, with enough room for six-footers to get comfortable. Not only does the low seating position make you feel at one with the car, but they're cushioned enough for long-distance travel, too. The scissor doors remain one of the i8's party tricks, but they make getting out of the car a bit more of a challenge. And, while a conventional door allows you to squeeze out in a tight parking space, the i8's doors make this a near-impossible task. Forward-visibility is fine, but thick A-pillars and a smallish rear window do hamper the side and back views out.
|BMW i8 Coupe Trims||Coupe|
|Headroom Front Seat||38.7 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||32.4 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||43.1 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||28.2 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||56.7 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||49.6 in.|
As standard, the i8's seats are upholstered in genuine perforated leather. The standard colors are dark Giga Amido and Giga Ivory White - the latter significantly brightens up the cabin, although it will naturally be harder to keep clean. A choice of two luxurious natural leathers are also available: E-Copper and Tera Dalbergia Brown. Both are $3,700 options. Carbon fiber trim is standard, and there are a few aluminum-brushed accents dotted around the cabin. The characteristic blue highlights that are found on all BMW i cars also make an appearance here. Ceramic controls and E-Copper leather upholstery are unique to the Ultimate Sophisto Edition.
The i8 is very much a traditional sports car in this area, which is another way of saying that it's disappointing. The trunk has a mere 4.7 cubic feet of space, not enough for one large suitcase. While a couple of grocery bags will fit, you better stash your chocolate treats elsewhere as the trunk is positioned close to the engine and is susceptible to heightened temperatures. While many sports cars with their engines mid- or rear-mounted have a 'frunk' in front, this space is reserved for the i8's electric components. All of this means you'll really come to appreciate the back seats for the extra storage space they provide.
Interior cubbies are all rather small, but at least they exist: there is a front-passenger storage net, rear storage nets on the back of the front seats, a center armrest with a cupholder, and another two cupholders at the back.
|BMW i8 Coupe Trims||Coupe|
|Trunk Volume||5.4 cu. ft.|
Without any pricey extras, the i8 Coupe ships with six-way power-adjustable front seats with three-stage heating. Automatic dual-zone climate control is standard as well, while other conveniences include a universal garage door opener, power-folding mirrors, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel column. BMW's ambient lighting system looks brilliant at night, with LED illumination of the center console, armrests, and air vents. The i8 is also a safe vehicle and that's thanks to a full-color head-up display, cruise control, LED headlights, frontal collision warning, and speed limit information. A sunroof isn't fitted but that's because the i8's roof is fashioned from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.
Although the i8 doesn't get the latest version of BMW's iDrive system, its infotainment offering is still thoroughly up to scratch. The driver benefits from two 8.8-inch color displays, one for the instrument cluster and one central screen for functions like navigation with 3D maps. As usual, functions are managed via a touchpad controller and eight memory buttons. It's familiar and easy to get used to. Standard gear encompasses 20GB of storage for audio files, voice commands, map updates three times per year, and real-time traffic information. Connectivity is enhanced with Apple CarPlay (but no Android Auto just yet), enhanced USB and Bluetooth, and BMW's connected app compatibility. SiriusXM satellite radio is standard with a one-year all-access subscription, as is HD Radio, and both can be enjoyed via the 11-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a 360-watt amplifier.