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Bell tolls for BMW i8 production

Want a brand-new i8? You've only got a few weeks left to get your order in...

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, January 14, 2020

It says a lot about how groundbreaking the BMW i8 was that, after nearly seven years on sale and with production drawing to a close, there still isn't anything else much like it. Here was a production sports car capable of 4.6 seconds to 62mph yet 46g/km of CO2, one that looked a million bucks and yet rivalled a Porsche 911 for price.

There's unlikely to be anything else like it from BMW either. The firm's next model in a sports car mould will probably be all-electric to draw influence from the Formula E campaign and the Vision M Next concept, targeting rivals like the forthcoming Tesla Roadster. So, when production does finish in April - UK customers need to get their built-to-order car spec in by March - that will be that for the i8 template.

What it won't be the end of, though, is discussion and speculation about the i8's success as a project. It was never the best driver's car in BMW's line up, and the plummeting residual values would imply a certain lack of consumer confidence. Rumours are that big discounts are being offered on the last few remaining on dealer forecourts, too...

Still, chronic depreciation does mean that buyers after a used i8 could be in for a bargain. See this 2015 car, with a spec that mimics those early concept cars, with just 15,000 miles and a £45k asking price - less than half what it cost new. Up the budget slightly and this white i8, specced to £110,000 and with only 7,000 miles showing, is £51,995.

In 2018, the i8 coupe was joined by a Roadster, and all models were boosted by 12hp; a 374hp coupes is available from £66,000, with Roadsters like this one - showing just 2,500 miles - on offer at just £68,500. Being the original owner of an i8 sounds tough, then, but pickings are plentiful for those buying used. How low can they go?

So while the new story of the i8 might be coming to an end, the discussion of BMW's hybrid coupe as a secondhand sports car is far from over. For supercar drama, carbon construction and hybrid technology, the i8 seems to offer a lot for not very much money. Let's see if that's still the view later in the 2020s...

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