RE: BMW i8: Spotted

Tuesday 26th February

BMW i8: Spotted

The earliest i8s are now almost five years old, beyond 50,000 miles and nearing £40k - tempted?



There can't be many sub-supercars over recent times that have matched the BMW i8 for sheer impact and shock value on launch; everyone had seen the EfficientDynamics concept, sure, and mostly liked it, but very few people actually believed that such a thing would make production. Yet there it was, just five years later, a production i8 in BMW showrooms, a genuine hybrid sports car that promised performance and petrol-electric parsimony.

Much like the smaller i3, the i8 ensured BMW stole a march on its immediate rivals; look at the current desire from Audi and Mercedes to create valid electric ranges, to push their hybrid wares and generally put distance between what's happening now and a fossil-fuelled past. Interestingly, though, the tack is slightly different, with other manufacturers focussing on more conventional applications of the technology, underlining the fact that the BMW i cars haven't been quite the successes they were forecast to.


That's not reflecting any lack of ability. The i8, while not the most dynamic of sports cars, was desirable, fast and a pleasure to spend time with. The sense of occasion for a car with a 1.5-litre engine and a price that started at less than £100,000 was unmatched, and don't underestimate the importance of that to prospective buyers. Maybe not a car for a track day, but supreme for the journey there and back. There's an argument to say the primary reason is one associated with cost; both i3 and i8 were priced in line with (or above) more conventional rivals. Those with experience of them could make a valid argument that they were worth it, but we all know how hard it is to get consumers to break their buying habits. You knew what you were getting buying a 911 at £100k; an i8 represented more of a gamble.

Still, some did take the plunge, spurred on by good deals that were available, like the original owner of this particular i8. In 2014 this was a £100,000 car; five years and 50,000 miles later, though, and it's shed more than half its value, on offer at BMW Sytner Birmingham for £43,000. As far as we know, it's the cheapest i8 yet seen, and therefore rather interesting.

Clearly it's been used, with somewhere around 10,000 miles a year covered. The natural assumption being that the petrol engine will have been more responsible for that than the batteries, because obviously there's only so far that can be covered on electric power alone. Don't forget, though, that the battery is covered by a BMW warranty for eight years and 100,000 miles, which should put some minds at ease. Because, let's be honest, there will be a little apprehension about buying a used hybrid, even if there needn't be.


Of course, running something like this beyond those miles is the step into the unknown, which may put some off, but what a fascinating opportunity this represents. A 911 or Vantage at similar money will be older (and with mileage not that much lower) and, while each is great, they perhaps represent a more traditional, less intriguing sports car formula.

So, if the initial purchase price put some off an i8, does the worse than expected depreciation makes it a more appealing prospect now? Or is the more appropriate question how much further values could yet fall? Perhaps this is one to revisit in another five years time...


SPECIFICATION - BMW I8

Engine: 1,499cc 3-cyl turbo plus lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 362@ (combustion engine 231@5,800rpm, electric motor 131@4,800rpm)
Torque (lb ft): 420 (combustion engine 236@3,700rpm, electric motor 184@0rpm)
MPG: 134.5 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 49g/km
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 54,000
Price new: £99,845
Yours for: £43,000

See the original advert here.

Author
Discussion

tubs

Original Poster:

42 posts

146 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
Its a great looking car....but i think its like buying second had Samsung Galaxy S7...Its old tech and the bills will be big when the batteries need replacing.

paulyv

586 posts

62 months

Tuesday 26th February
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Drove my first i3 just yesterday courtesy of the Drive Now scheme. It's a little street rocket so goodness knows what this must be like.

swisstoni

7,459 posts

218 months

Tuesday 26th February
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Never could make my mind up about these. Sometimes they look good, sometimes terrible.

I always wanted to be Ed Straker so maybe one day I’ll whirr about in one.

jak kez 187

23 posts

6 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
paulyv said:
Drove my first i3 just yesterday courtesy of the Drive Now scheme. It's a little street rocket so goodness knows what this must be like.
Agreed! I drove an i3 this time last year as a courtesy car, genuinely didn't want to give it back! The torque on it was fantastic so can only imagine what an i8 would be like.

carinaman

13,207 posts

111 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
I saw a white one on the road last week. It looked very good in white with that black triangular area and vent on the bonnet in my mirrors. It's instantly recognisable and reminds me of the M1.
Advertisement

nsa

1,397 posts

167 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
I think my 1997 manual NSX is worth about 43k. I'd be very tempted to do a straight swap against this. Different animals, but the i8 is similar in concept to what the Honda was in 1990.

cdrick4

62 posts

55 months

Tuesday 26th February
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There's no doubt that the exterior form looks really nice, though the battery lifespan/cost can be a big concern.

jack_86

44 posts

31 months

Tuesday 26th February
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Not a massive fan on these, kinda remind me of an Audi R8 in terms of very good car but something a little bland and accessible.

Turbobanana

1,253 posts

140 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
swisstoni said:
Never could make my mind up about these. Sometimes they look good, sometimes terrible.
I think they are one of the most colour-sensitive cars around. This looks a bit dull and boring, but there is one that parks near where I work that's kind of copper coloured and it looks fantastic.

If I had the money I'd take a punt on this, but not in that colour.

HeMightBeBanned

518 posts

117 months

Tuesday 26th February
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Amazing cars. A good friend of mine has a white one and adores it. I can see why. They look great, they’re comfortable, the technology is genuinely impressive and they feel FAR faster than the raw power figures would suggest.

Having driven it, I’d gladly have one.

livinginasia

226 posts

49 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
If it were a better colour (blue and white for example) I would be tempted, but again, I would say a leap of faith as who knows what will happen to the batteries over the next few years, especially after the warranty expires. Would it cost enough to replace them to actually write the car off from a financial standpoint ?

vanman1936

292 posts

158 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
I like them.

Do these need a power point to charge or can they 100% self charge (I live in atop floor flat!)

garyhun

26,239 posts

167 months

Tuesday 26th February
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BMW ‘gave’ me a protonic blue i8 for four days last summer. Had an absolute blast in it and would be very tempted, especially at these prices

Snubs

765 posts

78 months

Tuesday 26th February
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There's a white roadster version at my local BMW dealer that i had a sit in the other day. The main thing i remember about it is the glorious structural carbon fibre (i.e. not the glued on optional accessory stuff), particularly the underside of the doors. If i owned it i'd imagine i'd open the door to get out and instead just sit there staring at it cloud9

Edited by Snubs on Tuesday 26th February 08:20


Edited by Snubs on Tuesday 26th February 08:21

garyhun

26,239 posts

167 months

Tuesday 26th February
quotequote all
Snubs said:
There's a white roadster version at my local BMW dealer that i had a sit in the other day. The main thing i remeber if the glorious structural carbon fibre (i.e. not the glued on optional accessory stuff), particularly the underside of the doors. If i owned it i'd imagine i'd open the door to get out and instead just sit there staring at it cloud9
There was a gold roadster in High Wycombe BMW when I was there a few weeks back - lovely looking thing.

Edited by garyhun on Tuesday 26th February 08:44

julian64

12,682 posts

193 months

Tuesday 26th February
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I couldn't buy a 1.5 litre engine that's done 50K miles for £40K. Its a highly stressed engine probably used to the limit of its ability just to tug around an oversized car on a regular basis. Tech has improved, but not that much.

David87

5,135 posts

151 months

Tuesday 26th February
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Really struggle to see the appeal of these. I type this while looking at a white one out of my office window, but to my eyes it just looks weird rather than futuristic.

em177

2,908 posts

103 months

Tuesday 26th February
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nsa said:
I think my 1997 manual NSX is worth about 43k. I'd be very tempted to do a straight swap against this. Different animals, but the i8 is similar in concept to what the Honda was in 1990.
From someone that's spent a decent amount of time in both. Don't.

giveitfish

3,154 posts

153 months

Tuesday 26th February
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The ad has NO interior pics. I have a feeling that might go some way to explaining the low priced this particular car.

Todd Bonzalez

1,967 posts

101 months

Tuesday 26th February
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Is this now the cheapest way into a car with the doors of a billionaire?!
Really like the look of these, especially at this money and not 100k. Interesting.