The hybrid sports car got a stay of execution, but its time is finally up.
BMW confirmed in March plans to end production of the i8 hybrid sports car the following month. Well, April arrived and so did the coronavirus outbreak which halted production entirely at production plans across the world, including the Leipzig, Germany plant where the BMW i8 Coupe and i8 Spyder are built. As a result, the i8 received a stay of execution, until now that is.
According to German publication Automobilwoche, the final BMW i8 will roll off the production line next week on June 11. The world has known since last September that 2020 would be the i8's final model year, so it really turned into a countdown as to when BMW made the official announcement.
That all being said, there was a brief time when the automaker planned an i8 successor, the production version of the stunning Vision M Next concept, but the financial fallout caused by the pandemic has canceled those plans. However, we just learned that the next-generation BMW M5, due to arrive in late 2023 as a 2024 model, will likely be an all-electric super sedan with more power than a Bugatti Veyron. In other words, the internally called G90 M5 could very well become BMW's next halo model. More details will come to light over the course of the next several months and years.
In the meantime, the all-electric BMW i3, which also entered production the same year as the i8 back in 2013, will continue to be built through at least 2024. Although official details have yet to be revealed, we expect BMW will offer additional i3 improvements in the near future.
As for the i8, it will surely go down in BMW history as one of its most important models in recent years. While the exterior design remained controversial for a lot of people, its plug-in hybrid powertrain served as a blueprint for future vehicles, including sports cars. Prior to the i8, there were just a handful of PHEV sports cars on the market because the perception was that they couldn't provide a proper sports car experience.
While the i8 was certainly not the fastest or most thrilling performance car on the market, it helped pave the way for a new era.