We are used to seeing the Turner Motorsport yellow and blue on their race cars. Now, it looks like they've picked up a new project car that is also sporting the yellow and blue. Of course they didn't pick up just any car, they went hybrid with a new BMW i8. Aside from its eye-catching paint job, Turner will be working their magic on the i8, improving on its already stellar performance and handling. However, before any changes were made, some initial impressions were noted.
First impressions of the i8:
The i8 rides and sounds fantastic! Yes that is right, it SOUNDS fantastic. The 20 minute drive home from the dealer after delivery turned into over an hour drive back to the shop. The i8's handling is agile and steering sharp, the brakes are very good and the overall ride is fantastic. Since the i8 was debuted it was a car that we needed to get our hands on. We loved the looks and styling and knew that if it had the handling and driving characteristics of other BMWs we had to have it.
When you first walk up to the futuristic supercar you are instantly enamored by the sleek and slippery body lines of the i8. The shapes of the thermoplastic body panels draped over the carbon-fiber tub are something you would expect to find on The Jetsons.
One of the first thing we noticed is the sheer size of the i8, in photos and at auto shows the car seemed somewhat small but in the real world the car has a certain size and presence about it. The door opens with little to no effort as the tuned spring/damper helps push the carbon door up and open. Now to the hard part, getting in the i8. Whether you are 5' 5" or 6' 6" gracefully getting in and out of the i8 is next to impossible. The unusually long but extremely short door opening makes getting in or out somewhat of a challenge.
Once past the obstacle of entry you find yourself surrounded by leather, lights and crisp digital displays. Mechanical instrument clusters are a thing of the past, the i8 features a fully digital cluster with displays that shift from blue to red depending on what driving mode is selected. After pushing the gear selector into sport mode, the cluster illuminates red and all 357 horsepower is at your command. The sound of the 1.3L turbo-charged engine fills the cabin (or noise pipped in through the stereo) and your off. The instant torque of the electric motor combined with the added power from the gasoline engine creates such a smooth sensation when accelerating, regardless of what speed.
Despite everything that is great about the i8, we still feel the desire to get more out of it whether it's more acceleration, better handling, more stopping power and the list goes on. As part of our DNA and what makes Turner what it is today, we are always striving to push the envelope to improve performance, aesthetics and the overall driving experience of any and all BMWs. The i8 is no different, thus the Turner Project i8.
As you can see from the pics, so far, the Project i8's stance has been lowered a bit and a set of 21" Forgeline AR1 Forged wheels were added to set off the look.
Since suspension tuning is our specialty, we wanted to make sure that our i8 handled as good as it looks. To start we contacted our friends over at H&R springs to get some sport springs for the i8 to lower the center of gravity and slightly increase the spring rate without negatively impacting the fantastic ride. In addition to the springs we decided to install some camber adjustment arms to dial a little more negative camber into the front wheels to help with the pushy-ness of the i8 from the factory. The combination made a huge improvement, the i8 is a blast on any corner.
That's just the start of the project. We look forward to seeing what other goodies make into the Turner Project i8. You can check out turnermotorsport.com for more details