2019 Ford GT vs. 2019 BMW i8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Warranty

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

There are almost 9 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GT’s warranty.

Reliability

The GT has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The i8 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Engine

The GT’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 278 more horsepower (647 vs. 369) and 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (550 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford GT is faster than the BMW i8:

 

GT

i8

Zero to 60 MPH

3 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.2 sec

9.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.6 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

10.8 sec

12.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

134 MPH

113 MPH

Top Speed

216 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The GT has 4.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the i8 (15.2 vs. 11.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The GT has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The i8 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Ford GT, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the i8.

The GT offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The i8 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i8:

 

GT

i8

Front Rotors

15.5 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

The GT has standard heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The i8 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The GT has standard air brakes, which adjust the rear spoiler automatically during high-speed braking in order to shorten stopping distances. The i8 doesn’t offer air brakes.

The GT stops much shorter than the i8:

 

GT

i8

 

80 to 0 MPH

190 feet

212 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

145 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

95 feet

103 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GT has larger tires than the i8 (F:245/35R20 & R:325/30R20 vs. F:215/45R20 & R:245/40R20).

The GT’s 245/35R20 front and 325/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i8’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

The GT has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The i8 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GT is 2 inches wider in the front than on the i8.

The GT handles at 1.11 G’s, while the i8 Coupe pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The GT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the i8 Coupe (22.7 seconds @ .97 average G’s vs. 24.6 seconds @ .8 average G’s).

Chassis

The GT is 7 inches shorter in height than the i8, making the GT much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The GT uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The i8 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GT is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the i8. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The GT’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The i8 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

Recommendations

The GT was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The i8 hasn’t been picked since 2015.

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

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