BMW launches run-out i8 ahead of production end


It's a sign of how rapidly changing the current automotive landscape is that just as Porsche launches its landmark Taycan EV, so BMW has begun to wind down production of its own pivotal electrified car - a model which seemed just as revolutionary on its debut just five years ago. So significant was the i8 at launch, in fact, that Chris Harris described it "the template for fast motoring for the near future" while declaring it to be "a more interesting and significant machine" than the headline-grabbing LaFerrari.

With production scheduled to end in April 2020, BMW has had to think up a fitting way to turn close the book on its forward-thinking sports car - and this is what it's come up with. As with so many run-out models these days, the 'Ultimate Sophisto Edition' is really nothing more than a lick of paint and some badges. But what a lick of paint it is. To these eyes at least the Sophisto Grey base and E-Copper accents look very smart indeed with the i8's styling striking enough not to be overwhelmed by the dark colour and 20-inch copper wheels.

Elsewhere there are clear-glass rear lights - a first for the i8 - as well as 'Shadow Line' trim, bespoke sill plates and a numbered plaque. An Accaro interior in Black/E-Copper is said to complement the exterior look and features BMW's head-up display, light package, the Harman Kardon sound system and ceramic-coated controls. Extended storage and travel packs also come equipped to the Coupe and Roadster respectively.

BMW says that 200 examples of the i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster will be available worldwide, although it hasn't clarified whether that means 200 of each, or what the potential split between the two would be if not. For those who miss out, 1,000 units of the similarly-appointed i3 Edition RoadStyle are also going on sale, as the firm's electric city car helps to see its sportier sibling off.


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Comments (43) Join the discussion on the forum

  • sidesauce 05 Sep 2019

    Having recently got one of these, I must say they have dated amazingly well all things considered. I also am learning to live with its foibles but as an attempt at a hybrid car, I have to put this up there with Audi's first R8 or the first Aston Vantage - truly a modern icon IMO. Interestingly, howmanyleft states there are 2100 of these coupe registered in the UK so it's rarer than I thought too.

    Edited by sidesauce on Wednesday 4th September 20:06

  • cerb4.5lee 05 Sep 2019

    I do like how individual/rare these are, but I imagine that most punters went for a Porsche 911 instead. It doesn't seem to have had a very long life cycle unless I've lost track of time.

    ETA just noticed only 5 years.

  • gigglebug 05 Sep 2019

    sidesauce said:
    Having recently got one of these, I must say they have dated amazingly well all things considered. I also am learning to live with its foibles but as an attempt at a hybrid car, I have to put this up there with Audi's first R8 or the first Aston Vantage - truly a modern icon IMO. Interestingly, howmanyleft states there are 2100 of these coupe registered in the UK so it's rarer than I thought too.

    Edited by sidesauce on Wednesday 4th September 20:06
    I'd not realised before just how high the sills are, they are really noticable in the bottom image. How hard would they make it for nippers to get in and out of the back?

    Really like the exterior colour scheme on this, not sure about the seats though. Have they ever done an interior with alcantara seats etc, that would be a winner for me.

  • Court_S 05 Sep 2019

    I really like these and think they’ve aged fantastically. Those that actually buy them still seem to love them.

    It’ll be interesting to see where BMW go with electric cars now; they did sone cool stuff with the i3 and i8 but don’t seem to have developed them and are getting left behind by others.

  • jjr1 05 Sep 2019

    I sold my M4 Comp a few months back and bought an i8. I absolutely love it. A great GT car which cruises quietly and rides beautifully. I also like that it is a rare sight.

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