Welcome to My Wheels, Mohamed. The i8 was our Car of the Year for 2015 — what attracted you to the BMW?
I’ve been a BMW customer since 2010 and have been following all of its latest models with keen interest. I have been so impressed with the brand and am a huge fan now.
However, I am not sure the i8 will be a game-changer in the sportscar segment as some have predicted...
Why do you think that is?
Because big engines and spectacular horsepower figures are still very much in demand. I suppose it’s a question of perception — people still want large displacement.
You’ve got a point there. With fuel so cheap in this region, hybrids may never catch on like they have in other markets. But this effort from BMW has really caught the imagination in terms of aesthetics and technology. What, in particular, do you like about the i8?
I love the shape, performance and the driving dynamics. It’s one of a kind.
It’s hard to describe the feeling I get when I am behind the wheel, it’s as if I have been transported to the future! This is a new take on a sportscar.
Is there anything that you feel could be improved?
The brakes could be a bit better and an increase in power would be good too. The engine is only a 1.5-litre three-cylinder combined with an electric motor with an output of 360 horses with very good acceleration due in part of the car’s carbon fibre construction. It weighs less than 1,500kg, which sure helps it to hit 100kph from rest in only 4.4 seconds.
It’s such an eye-catcher and must make you feel very proud…
Yes it does; it was made in 2015 but looks as if it should have been launched in 2030! It looks like a spaceship and the interior is so futuristic. The fact that it doesn’t make any noise when you drive it makes it even better.
I like to drive it two to three times a week. It’s safe to say that it is just a bit better looking than my very first car — a 1983 Fiat Ritmo! I used to drive around in that back in Egypt and loved it. I kept it for a couple of years and then bought a Golf.
What other cars have you owned?
Since the Volkswagen, I have had numerous cars including a 2002 Mitsubishi Gallant, 2005 Chevrolet Lumina and a 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman. However, I can see myself in a Bugatti or a Porsche Mission E some day!
If you get either of those, make sure you call us! You also own a G 63, which is a motoring icon of the UAE. What is that like?
It blows my mind whenever I drive it. The performance, comfort and safety in this are exceptional. The 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 550 horsepower and although it’s a heavy vehicle it still gives you the performance of a small sportscar.
I also have a X6 and a Mitsubishi Pajero and try to use all of my cars equally as I’m in love with them all. I don’t want any of them to feel I’m treating them differently!
But which one stands out in the group?
The i8. It gets so much more attention. For instance, people stop me when I am in it on the street just to take a photo of the car. I remember one guy who asked me to pose with it. I had to ask him if he was taking a photo of the i8 or me!
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