2019 BMW i8 vs. 2019 McLaren 570S

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The i8 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 570S doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The i8 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 570S doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The i8 has a standard Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 570S only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The i8 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 570S doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the i8 and the 570S have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The i8 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 570S’ 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The i8’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 570S’ (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i8 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. McLaren doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 570S.

There are over 18 times as many BMW dealers as there are McLaren dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the i8’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the i8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the 570S (68 city/70 hwy MPGe vs. 16 city/23 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the i8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the 570S (26 city/29 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).

The i8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 18 miles. The 570S must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the i8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 570S doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Drivetrain

All wheel drive, available in the i8, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The McLaren 570S is not available with all wheel drive.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i8 has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 19-inch front wheels are available on the 570S.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the i8 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 570S doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the i8’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the 570S (110.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the i8 is 4.1 inches wider in the rear than on the 570S.

The i8’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.8% to 51.2%) than the 570S’ (42.1% to 57.9%). This gives the i8 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the i8’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 570S’ (40.4 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the i8 Coupe is quieter than the 570S Coupe:

 

i8

570S

At idle

40 dB

63 dB

Full-Throttle

87 dB

97 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

74 dB

Passenger Space

The i8 Coupe has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 570S can only carry 2.

The i8 Coupe has 32 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 570S (81 vs. 49).

Ergonomics

The i8 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 570S doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The i8 has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 570S doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the i8 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 570S can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the i8 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 570S doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the i8 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 570S doesn’t offer cornering lights. The i8 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The i8’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 570S’ visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The i8’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 570S’ power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The i8 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 570S has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the i8 has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The 570S doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Recommendations

The BMW i8 outsold the McLaren 570S by 6% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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