As I sit here, fresh from the elegant embrace of BMW's new 2002, it occurs to me that something between nine and ten million Americans are going to make a terrible mistake this year. Like dutiful little robots they will march out of their identical split-level boxes and buy the wrong kind of car. To my way of thinking, the 2002 is one of modern civilization's all-time best ways to get somewhere sitting down.
And this is where we came in.
When people were discussing the specs of the BMW i8 it didn't seem like much attention was paid to the heart and soul of the car. We decided to find someone who loved the car and could tell us why.
When Scott and Fran Hughes read these words in Car and Driver Magazine in 1968, it set them on a journey with the BMW brand.
For over 40 years the Hughes family has enjoyed the innovation of BMW. It made sense that they would also wholeheartedly embrace the new BMWi hybrids when BMW released them this year.
Century BMW in Greenville, SC introduced us to the Hughes family. They graciously opened their home and collection to us and gave us free reign to drive and film any BMW we wanted.
Of course, the story was about the BMW i8 so we focused on telling the story of how that car fits in the BMW line and its history with the BMW M1.
BMW i8 video transcript
In 1968 a fellow by the name of David E. Davis Jr. wrote an article in Car and Driver entitled “Turn Your Hymnals to Page 2002” about the BMW 2002. And it's become very famous. It's just a real historical piece about the cars and it really launched the notice and of BMW in the United States.
And I had to go see one of these cars. We drove one and fell in love with it. And what made the buying decision was the experience of driving the car. It was a step forward for us beyond anything we had driven before.
With the i8, BMW is calling it "future forward". It is that same leap in a quantum fashion. They've taken your basic gasoline powered automobile and made an incredible hybrid out of it that just takes BMW technology and the BMW driving experience forward to someplace new that it's never been before.
I have seen or driven or been in almost every cool car in the planet and this rates right up there with the very best. The styling, the technology, the experience of driving it are phenomenal. It handles incredibly well, it's faster than stink, it just does everything right and we are privileged to own it.
Behind us is a 1980 BMW M1. They made 500 or so of those cars. They made them to homologate them for racing. Their mission was to go out and beat Porsche. It's BMW's first supercar. The i8 takes that to a whole new level. It's taking the heritage of that car and just moving it to the i8. Seamlessly but a gigantic leap forward.
When we moved to Greenville, we sought out Century BMW in Greenville. They have become brilliant friends and brilliant partners in the management of our collection and the whole BMW experience.
BMW has created a genius program and Will Parker is the resident genius at Century BMW. Their mission is to really help guys like me understand the cars and the technology even better than the sales people have been able to do in the past: they're focused on it. It's fun. The genius program works not just with the I Cars but all the way through the entire BMW family.
We've been asked what's next in the BMW world. The i8 is the pinnacle at this point and I can't imagine them building anything better but they will. And we'll be there.