The comedian hits Germany’s fastest highways in the BMW hybrid.
Ah, the Autobahn. For many German drivers, it’s simply the route to work. But for car enthusiasts outside of Germany, it’s a mythical place with delimited sections where you’re legally allowed to drive as fast as you want. Who better to test that out than comedian Conan O’Brien?
While in Germany, Conan met up with BMW driving instructor Lars to go for a ride in the i8 plug-in hybrid. With its upward-opening doors and the fat sills from its carbon-fibre tub, ingress isn’t the simplest, and Conan struggles to fit his tall frame in the car. Soon, though, they’re out on the road with Lars giving Conan a thrill ride on a speed limit-free section of Autobahn.
“This car does not seem like a car you would use to drop your kids off at school,” Conan muses. “This car seems more like a car that you would drop your third wife off at school.”
Soon, it’s the comedian’s chance to get behind the wheel. He starts of gingerly, so gingerly in fact that trucks are passing the BMW i8. But with some provocation from Lars, Conan unleashes the i8’s full power – rocketing all the way up to 230 kilometres per hour (143 miles per hour).
So, it’s fast, but can the i8 help Conan get a date? “Does the car make me sexy?” he asks the attendant at a drive-through restaurant. “Have a nice day,” comes the curt reply.
If you want to try this sort of high-speed driving yourself, you’d better start saving, as the BMW i8 stickers for a cool $150,000 in Canada. But it’s advanced plug-in-hybrid powertrain should easily let you crest triple-digit speeds. In back, there’s a turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower, working alongside a 129-hp electric motor to deliver total combined output of 357 hp. BMW says the car will reach 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). But because it’s a plug-in, the i8 is somewhat efficient, too. On a fully charged battery you can drive 24 km (15 miles) on electricity alone, according to EPA estimates. We’re guessing, though, the Conan’s high-speed antics didn’t exactly score him high in the efficiency standings.