If anyone still wonders whether BMW’s 357-horsepower i8 plug-in hybrid has the high-performance goods, Formula E put on a video promo showing the car being pitched sideways and spun around at speed.
The $137,000 BMW is equipped with FIA-required safety car gear but otherwise mainly stock. It doesn’t look too easy to flip, and China Racing’s Nelson Piquet, Jr. masterfully throws the car into aggressive tire-smoking drifts.
With Piquet – who finished 8th at Formula E’s inaugural race on Saturday – at the wheel, the pretense was a kind-of-odd Q&A session Formula E’s promoters staged with their major benefactor Qualcomm.
Here engineers responsible for EV tech were asked questions meant to call attention to Qualcomm as Piquet did his best to make their answering questions difficult.
Piquet looks really composed, and either makes a mild smile, or otherwise stays calm as the Qualcomm engineers react to the violent drive.
Formula E’s major sponsor makes several automotive technologies, including wireless charging now being used by the series’ two i8 safety cars, but an inadvertent benefit is we get to see the i8 being abused.
The filming sequence was shot at Donington Park on August 20 at the Tarmac Lake/Heritage Loop area of the site which is used for off-race circuit events such as this.
Of course other cars could be driven in the same manner, and we already knew the BMW was a capable performance vehicle, but consider this one more proof.