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The second of the BMW i-Series, this one being a plug-in hybrid with 1.5-liter, three-cylinder twin turbo, the i8 promises to be a high-zoot sports car when launched around summer, 2014.

It will be a showcase for technology and advanced design, and starting at just under $137,000, BMW says it is the “world’s most forward-looking sports car.”

For an entry point near double what a Tesla Model S 60-kwh base model costs, BMW promises a light 3,285-pound curb weight – around 1,400 pounds lighter than Tesla’s 85-kwh Model S. It will have 362 horsepower, 420 pounds-feet torque, and P85+ Tesla-league 0-62 of an estimated 4.4 seconds.

Cars like this are not measured with typical “total cost of ownership” mentalities however, as exclusivity and cool factor are hard to pin an exact price for which Consumer Reports could approve.

The car will be able to about match a Ford Fusion Energi in all-electric range, at 22 miles estimated, and promises 94 MPGe.

It makes the list because it is ostensibly chic enough for James Bond, being made available for closer to regular (albeit upper demographic) buyers, and is a first of more to come.

If there were any doubts about the i3, the i8 ought to live up to the moniker Ultimate Driving Machine alright.

And to that this holiday season, we raise our glass in a toast to “trickle down technology,” and raising the bar at the high end, which will inevitably improve ordinary cars in years to come.