Shed a tear for the BMW i8, which will bow out in 2020 after six years on the market. Autocar reports that production of the plug-in hybrid sports car will end in April, with no immediate successor in sight.
While Munich won’t give a specific date, a spokesperson told the British publication that “UK customers interested in a built-to-order car will need to have placed their order with their local retailer by the end of February.” Dealers are said to have already been giving out large discounts ahead of its discontinuation.
The outlandishly styled i8 was BMW’s arresting vision of the future. Having been presaged several years before by the Vision EfficientDynamics and Concept i8 show cars, it dazzled everyone at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, powered by a then-advanced 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and front electric motor. It was part of a two-pronged strategy, together with the roomier (but no less wild) i3 electric vehicle.
Fast forward to 2020 and the company’s electrification strategy couldn’t be more different. While the i3 remains BMW’s sole fully-electric vehicle (if you discount the MINI Cooper SE, of course), it will soon be supplanted by a range of far more mainstream models based on its petrol-powered lineup, with the iX3 coming this year and the i4 four-door coupé and iNEXT SUV the year after that.
Don’t fret, sports car fans, as BMW is still aiming to build another one eventually, based on the Vision M Next concept and set to go on sale within the next five years. For now, here’s a little throwback.
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