After just three years on the market, depreciation is starting to kill i8 values.
Depreciation is one of our favorite economic trends in the automotive industry. Even though it's difficult to predict, we're always on the lookout for the next amazing car that can be had for a fraction of its original price. Some of our favorite supercars on a $50,000 budget include the Ferrari-powered Maserati Grand Turismo and a Gemballa-tuned 996 911 Turbo. Our latest find may not have sunk below the $50,000 threshold for our usual recommendation, but it can now be had for around one half of its original MSRP.
The BMW i8 has been on the market now since 2014, and although the upcoming roadster model should come with some slight improvements, BMW hasn't done much to change its flagship hybrid sports car. A brand-new 2017 i8 would set you back $143,000. However, if you are willing to look at one that is a little older you can save yourself a ton of money. We ran a search for used i8 models, and we were staggered to see just how far the i8 has dropped in value. We found a 2015 model with only 15,000 miles on it for $71,000, although it does come with a salvage title. Upon further inspection, we noticed that many of the cheapest i8 examples had something wrong with them, so you best check the records when shopping for one.
After ruling out a few bad examples, we still came away with a few cars that were around the $80,000 mark. This is a staggering discount for a car that is only two to three years old with anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 miles. The i8 is a bit of a difficult car to recommend at $140,000, but it does seem like a much more competitive car at $80,000. Even though the i8 is not the fastest sports car on the market around a track, it is still quicker than its brother from the M division. $80,000 will now buy you one of the most interesting looking cars that can be had for less than six-figures, and plenty of performance to boot.
The i8 comes with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine, which it shares with the Mini Cooper. It may not sound like much, but this engine is paired with an electric motor in the front that drives the front wheels for a total power output of 349 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The i8 hits 60 mph in just four seconds and can even run for 22 miles on electric power alone. There aren't any other used cars on the market that can match the i8's pace and still achieve a 76 mpg equivalent. We can remember a time when BMW dealerships were asking between $50,000 to $100,000 over sticker for the i8, so it is amazing to see how a little bit of time can completely change the market for a car.
Right now seems like the perfect time to jump in on a used i8. The problem with revolutionary sports cars like the i8 is that progress moves extremely fast and makes cars become irrelevant at a faster rate. Just look at the original Tesla Roadster compared to the latest Roadster. The i8 will continue to lose value, but the older the car gets, the more difficult it will be tio find one with a warranty. If we were to recommend buying one of these cars used, we'd highly recommend getting one that is certified-preowned, just in case that complicated hybrid system has any expensive hiccups.