After six years, it's time to say goodbye.
Although it was rumored earlier this year, it is now official: production of the BMW i8 Coupe and BMW i8 Roadster will end this April after six years on the market. BMW previously hinted the i8's time was limited in December when it released photos of the 20,000th i8 rolling off the assembly line in Leipzig, Germany. It was quite an achievement for a car with a complicated build process featuring advanced materials like aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber. BMW learned a lot from the i8 program and is applying those lessons to future vehicles.
The upcoming BMW i4 all-electric four-door coupe is just one example. BMW has now declared the i8 has a spot in its coveted "Hall of Fame" of sports cars. This exclusive clubs houses the Bavarian automaker's greatest sports car achievements, including the M1 and E30 M3, to name just a few.
It was back in 2013 when the BMW i8 made its debut appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show alongside the BMW i3. At the time, the i8's powertrain combo of a combustion engine and electric motor was not something found in most vehicles, both luxury and mainstream. It's powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine paired to an electric motor for a combined output of 369 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Today, things are very different. Plug-in hybrids are not only commonplace, but they could soon be replaced entirely by battery-electrics. Performance is also relatively impressive though not outstanding. The i8 Coupe goes from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds while the Roadster requires 4.6 seconds. Top speed for both is rated at 155 mph. The BMW i8 also took many design chances. Although it didn't appeal to everyone, no one could argue it wasn't eye-catching.
A few years after the coupe's debut came the i8 Roadster. BMW also focused heavily on sustainability when choosing the i8's interior materials. At the time, this was truly revolutionary thinking. Offering sustainable materials is quickly becoming a regular thing these days.
BMW has not provided an exact day in April when production will cease, but the countdown clock has officially begun.