MyBMW

Ryan Peggs and his BMW i8

Ryan Peggs began programming while he was at college, and has since developed numerous apps for the iPhone and iPad – just because it seemed like a fun thing to do, you understand. A map-based app earned the young Briton his breakthrough and, at the age of 20, the key to his own BMW i8. So what does he think is the best thing about the car? Its technology (as if we needed to ask!)

By
Alexander Zimmermann
Photos
Julian Baumann

“My mom once told me that I could buy myself a sports car once I started earning money from programming – and now I’ve done it,” says Ryan Peggs with a smile. Next to him is his BMW i8, in Crystal White with blue accents. He gets in and starts it up.

Peggs, from Southampton on England’s southern coast, is a tall, slim 20-year-old studying medicine in London. As he guides his BMW i8 over the country roads from Munich to Bernried on Lake Starnberg, his enjoyment of the car’s acceleration is visible.

A passionate technophile, Ryan Peggs began programming while at college. One of the apps he developed has been downloaded more than 750,000 times.

“My mom once told me that I could buy myself a sports car once I started earning money from programming – and now I’ve done it.”

Ryan Peggs

But his driving style remains controlled, and he takes corners at a pace that is more leisurely than feverish. About halfway through the journey, he pulls over to the side of the road, climbs out and takes a moment with his father, Stephen, to admire the Bavarian countryside: wide-open fields populated by grazing cattle, the Alps forming a jagged horizon in the background. It’s no accident that they find themselves here, enjoying the picture-postcard scenery: Ryan and Stephen Peggs have joined 130 other guests from Europe, North America and the UAE on a Scenic Drive organized as part of the BMW i8 Pure Impulse Day. Many of them have brought their own cars with them to southern Germany. And this is the younger Peggs’ personal i8.

Ryan was 20 when his dream of owning a BMW i8 became a reality. Two years earlier, the medical student with a particular interest in neuroscience had bought his first sports car, thanks to iMaps+ for Google Maps. The app is available for the iPhone and iPad; when it was originally released, the official Google Maps app was not available for tablets – unlike Peggs’, which he programmed in his free time.

Ryan Peggs acquired his BMW i8 at the age of 20. Apart from his programming activities, he studies medicine with a particular focus on neuroscience.

Ryan Peggs acquired his BMW i8 at the age of 20. Apart from his programming activities, he studies medicine with a particular focus on neuroscience.

He built up the necessary expertise partly with the help of YouTube video tutorials. But, he smiles, an innate enthusiasm and passion for programming helped a little, as well. The app costs $2.99, and sales have now soared to well over 750,000. There are another four apps at Apptility Limited, as his programming company is called. They include [iStreets for Google Maps], an app that makes all the image data from Google’s Street View service available for the iPhone and iPad, allowing users to indulge in virtual strolls through towns and cities. He recently launched a WhatsApp application for the iPad, again based on the fact that big enterprises frequently neglect the tablet market.

So what do his friends say about his BMW i8? “Most of them don’t even know I’ve got one,” he says. “I study in London, but I leave the i8 at my parents’ place in Southampton, which is probably for the best.” An insatiable attention-seeker he is not. Sitting in his i8, Peggs waxes lyrical about the technology under the hood, a combination of two drive concepts at work: an electric motor and a combustion engine – the best of both worlds.

But he is also impressed by the design of the instruments. “I like the interface,” he says, referencing rectangles, icons and logos, describing how design elements have changed, and musing over the direction in which the interplay of design and usability is moving. It turns out the decision to buy a BMW i8 was an easy one, then: in the eyes of Ryan Peggs, this is the very state of the art when it comes to advanced automotive technology.

Model facts

The BMW i8 combines a TwinPower Turbo 3-cylinder 228-hp combustion engine with an eDrive 129-hp electric motor for a total power output of 357hp and 420lb-ft of torque. Launching the BMW i8 from 0-60mph in 4.2 sec* – it is as efficient as it is dynamic.

BMW i8

Displacement (cc)

1499

Output (hp)

357

Max Torque (lb-ft)

420

Acceleration 0–60 (sec)*

4.2

Top Speed (mph)** (electric-only mode / hybrid mode)

75 / 155

Note: all figures are hybrid mode unless marked electric-only mode. * BMW AG test result. BMW urges you to obey local speed laws and always wear safety belts. **Top speed electronically limited.

08/07/16