Like few other cars we can remember, people want to talk about the 2015 BMW i8. Drive one, and you'll soon find out what we mean. They stop you at gas stations. They accost you in Walgreen's parking lots. They stream out of neighborhood bars, beers in hand.
At least, that was our experience this week during Autoblog's Technology of the Year testing. We had the pleasure of driving the plug-in hybrid BMW sports car up to and around Petoskey, MI, a resort town where seeing such exotics is rare enough, let alone in the off season. It made for some interesting conversations – so we began writing down some of the comments the butterfly-doored coupe inspired. Here's a sampling:
- "Wanna race for pinks? I'll go easy on you." – Acne-covered teenage pizza delivery driver in a sad-looking Ford Taurus parked at a Valero gas station near Grayling (which incidentally didn't actually have gas).
- The proprietor of the Good Hart General Store, a quaint food emporium/post office nestled into the area's famed M-119 'Tunnel of Trees' route, gestured toward me and then said to a woman in the store: "I've almost got him talked into $5,000 and my Jeep." Her laughing response: "Yeah, bullshit!"
- "Is that a 'boy car' or a 'girl car'?" – Female cashier at Pond Hill Farm, a farm/pumpkin patch/trout pond/tasting room/pickler/pig race complex.
- "Is that a Lamborghini, or is that a Ferrari?" – Father with son carrying pumpkins.
- "Well, you must be quite pleased with yourself." *Pauses and again looks at i8* "Understandably." – 20-something woman carrying a tiny sweatered dog.
- "That looks like you're driving the future." – Walgreen's clerk who followed us out to the parking lot after we stopped to buy some pens.
- "I have to ask, with that gorgeous car, are ya'll lost?" – Friendly patrol officer who followed us for eight miles through the Tunnel of Trees, only to turn around and question us in front of the Legs Inn.