Two cars with the same goal but different ways of getting there.
That might be one way to summarize a series of drag races set up by TFL Car between a 2015 BMW i8 Hybrid 2+2 and a 2015 Corvette Stingray convertible.
The Stingray, of course, uses a gasoline-power 6.2-liter engine to produce 455 hp and 460 ft-lb of torque. While it’s an old-school engine in some ways, fancy electronics and other modern doo-dads have been added to this powerplant so that it provides both power and fuel economy. Indeed, some cylinders even shut down to improve gas mileage while not hindering performance at all.
The BMW i8, meanwhile, represents another way of moving forward into the future, with a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine for the rear wheels and a 96kw electric motor that uses a lithium-ion battery to turn the front wheels, producing a total of 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The three drag races between the two cars end with the Stingray on top each time, though just barely, but the video host points out that the test was done at high altitude where the air has less oxygen, putting the oxygen-loving Corvette V8 at about a 15 percent power disadvantage but having no effect on the electric motor of the i8.
It was an interesting test between two cars that deliver their thrills in very different ways. The Corvette’s V8 has a naturally loud roar that adds to the experience, while the i8 has to resort to speakers to amplify the engine’s natural sound and pipe it into the cabin. In fact, the i8 at street speed doesn’t even have tire noise, according to some reports.
We wouldn’t be surprised if someday there is a hybrid Corvette, producing more power with a combination of electric and gasoline engines.
We certainly hope any such Corvette would be cheaper, much cheaper, than the 2015 i8, which costs a whopping $136,000 but nevertheless has a two-year waiting list of folks wanting to buy one.