BMW has finally announced the discontinuation of its electrified sports car, the i8 plug-in hybrid by April 2020. After being on sale for more than six years, the car maker has decided to end the production for i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster models at its Leipzig plant from next month. Launched in the global market in 2014, the German car maker sold over 20,000 units worldwide. The Porsche 911 rival initiated its success story as a unique symbiosis of futuristic design and pioneering technology.
Also Read: BMW i8 Roadster Review
It made its initial presence felt at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show as a part of BMW's Vision Efficient Dynamics program, and the production version was introduced in 2013 alongside the BMW i3. The BMW i8 was launched in the Indian market in 2015 with a price tag of ₹ 2.29 crore (ex-showroom). Moreover, the BMW i8 Roadster was also showcased at Auto Expo 2018, but it never made to the Indian market.
The 2+2 sports coupe with gull-wind doors, plug-in hybrid and four-wheel-drive was the world's first sports car that had been developed with sustainability that prevailed in conventional automotive engineering, particularly for its radical looks and modern cabin. Built on intelligent carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CRFP) with an aluminium chassis, the BMW i8 comes powered by a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine in combination with a 143bhp electric motor setup. The setup develops combined output of 357bhp and 570Nm. The plug-in hybrid can hit the 100kmph-mark in just 4.4 seconds before clocking the top speed of 250kmph.
The sporty design and dynamic character of BMW i8 helped it in making an appearance in Mission Impossible - 'Ghost Protocol'. Additionally, the BMW i8 also made it to the garage of the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
In its six years of service, the company introduced several special editions of i8 and Roadster, which includes Protonic Frozen Black Edition and the Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition.