These aren't the cars of the future you thought they were. They're the vehicles that introduce the cars of the future.
Upon initial impression, it might have seemed like the BMW i3 and i8 were built to revolutionize the auto industry as we know it and bring practicality and fun together in a single package that would win over the public by bringing the car of the future onto the roads of today, but that's not exactly the case. No, the two futuristic electrified cars were meant as primers that give car buyers a taste of the future, not the actual future itself. As a physical manifestation, the future has yet to make an appearance on showroom floors.
However once BMW's electrified models are out, there will be little reason for the i3 and i8 to exist given that both models would have served their purpose of bridging the gap between gas-thirsty V8s and Earth-saving electric and hybrid drivetrains. According to Autocar, once that future takes off from its launchpad, BMW will have little reason to keep the i3 and i8 alive, so it might not. "We're still deciding [about] the i8," said i boss Robert Irlinger. "We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it's called, or if it's a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion." One thing we do know for sure is that BMW plans to supply that new line of sports cars through a collaboration between the M and i Divisions.
On the non-performance end of things, BMW is already looking to build an electric iX3 to inhabit a similar albeit better-selling segment than the i3 did. As for the i8, the i Division's design boss Domagoj Dukec went on to explain that the hybrid sports car is more like the M1 supercar in the sense that it serves as a brand flagship but not one that is built to last multiple generations. "It worked at the time, but why do it more than once? The i8 could be the M1 – it doesn't have to always be a name at BMW. We always give an answer to what people and customers are requiring at that moment in time." Don't mourn the loss too much because there was no way BMW was going to be able to modernize those futuristic faces anyway.