The new BMW i8 is the brand’s most innovative and technologically advanced model yet. This plug-in hybrid combines efficiency with sports car performance, futuristic looks, and plenty of BMW luxury. Perhaps the first thing to catch consumers’ minds is the raw technology behind this design. This plug-in hybrid setup combines a 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder, gas engine with two electric motors for motivation. In July 2014, BMW announced that it will auction off a special Concours d’Elegance Edition i8 to build upon the excitement about the model.
Things get a little tricky when adding the i8’s powertrain together. A six-speed automatic transmission drives the rear wheels, while an electric motor powers the front wheels through a two-speed automatic. An additional, smaller electric motor provides additional power to the rear wheels but mostly acts as a generator to top off the battery.
Confused yet? The bottom line is that this all works in harmony to create 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims a 0-to-60 time of only 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. A BMW-like 50/50 weight distribution ensures amazing balance and handling.
While all of this is enough to get excited about, BMW wants to take luxury and customization a step further with a special Concours d’Elegance Edition to be introduced and auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Auto Show in August 2014.
Updated 08/18/2014: The i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition sold at auction for a whopping $825,000.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition.
Updated 08/08/2014: BMW unveiled a new set of high res images for the one-off i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition which will be auctioned during the annual Pebble Beach Auctions at Pebble Beach on Saturday, August 16. Proceeds of the sale will go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a very exclusive venue. Mainly a showcase of classic, restored, priceless cars, many automakers introduce special, limited-edition "Pebble Beach" models when presented here. Many concept cars also debut at Pebble Beach, such as the absolutely stunning Cadillac Elmiraj . Quite frankly, this is one of —if not the— the most prestigious car exhibitions in the world.
New, exclusive paint offerings are always part of the lineup at this venue, and BMW doesn't disappoint.
Pebble Beach editions of these cars usually include new, exclusive paint and interior trim options, as well as the bragging rights of simply holding the Pebble Beach name. Many of these automobiles are eventually re-sold as collectors items for a hefty profit.
BMW isn’t letting any of this slip by, however, and wants to showcase its latest and most innovative offering with a special i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition. To add a touch more exclusivity, this car will be auctioned off before the regular production version goes on sale this fall.
While the new i8 is already filled with BMW sportiness, luxury and its latest technology combined with truly futuristic looks both inside and out, expect this special edition to further customize this amazing new car.
BMW touts its i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition, which will be introduced at the upcoming 2014 Pebble Beach Auto Show, to be "unlike any other BMW i8 in the world." Seeing as the regular i8 is pretty much like any other BMW (or car) in the world as it is, this should be interesting.
New, exclusive paint offerings are always part of the lineup at this venue, and BMW doesn’t disappoint. This car will be adorned with a special Frozen Grey Metallic paint. I have only seen pictures, but this stunning shade of grey along with the amazing lines on the i8 remind me of a car a sleek villain would drive.
While fully adaptive laser headlights are not approved for U.S. use yet, due to our strict regulations specifying a dedicated high- and low-beam setting, expect the i8 pictured here to feature them. It’s only a matter of time before we get with the program and approve this technology, but in case we haven’t by the time this special edition is delivered, the headlights will be retrofitted to comply with our current laws.
Inside, things are upgraded as well. As if the current interior of this $135,000 car isn’t stunning and luxurious enough, the Concours d’Elegance Edition will feature a special Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery. Fitting with the i8’s eco-friendly theme, this color leather is dyed its special shade of brown using plant extracts.
Also, special "BMW i8" lettering will be integrated into the front headrests.
Expect BMW i Blue custom stitching inside for some added character. A new fad these days, custom-colored seat belts, also in i Blue, will be part of the deal. Also, special "BMW i 8" lettering will be integrated into the front headrests. It should all work nicely with the gorgeous brown leather.
We expect this special i8 to carry the same drivetrain as the base i8, which gives it 228 gasoline-powered ponies and 236 pound-feet of torque from its I-3 engine, and another 129 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque from its front-mounted electric motor. This complex system provides a total of 357 horsepower, which launches the i8 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
On electricity only, the i8 can travel 22 miles, and in full-hybrid mode, it has a range of 310 miles.
We knew that the i8 Concours d’Elegance edition would go for an impressive amount of cash, but no one expected it to sell for the $825,000 that it did.
Gallery BMW i8
In celebration of the US arrival of the BMW i8, the world’s most innovative sports car, a one-of-a-kind 2014 BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will be auctioned during the weekend of the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, ahead of the official fall sale date. The i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will be distinguished by a unique paint scheme and interior treatment as well as other features that will make it unlike any other BMW i8 in the world. The BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will be sold by Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, during the annual Pebble Beach Auctions at Pebble Beach on Saturday, August 16. Proceeds of the sale will go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The 2014 BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will feature BMW Individual Frozen Grey Metallic exterior paint. The unique interior will boast Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery, which is tanned using dye derived from plant extracts. The upholstery is accented with stitching in BMW i Blue. The Pure Impulse Tera World interior includes other trim accents in BMW i Blue, including the seat belts, as well as having “BMW i8” embossed into the front headrests. A number of US firsts will be included with this special edition including laser headlights, pending government approval, a BMW i8 Display key as well as the first BMW Charging Station, professional edition.
The words “Concours d’Elegance Edition” i8 will be laser etched in the interior, further marking this as truly one-of-a-kind. The car will be sold at the Pebble Beach Auctions presented by Gooding & Company on Saturday, August 16 at the Pebble Beach Special Events area. For information about bidding or to watch a live stream of the auction, please visit www.goodingco.com.
The BMW i8 is arguably the most innovative sports car on the road today. The plug-in hybrid all-wheel drive powertrain combines an electric motor to drive the front wheels and a powerful and efficient 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder gasoline engine driving the rear wheels. The BMW i8 is capable of driving on pure electric power at speeds up to 75 mph for approximately 20 miles, producing zero tailpipe emissions. When the gasoline engine joins forces with the electric motor, together they are capacity of propelling the i8 for 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and to a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Thanks in part to its passenger cell constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic, The BMW i8 will deliver fuel efficiency normally associated with the stingiest subcompact. The lithium-ion battery pack that powers the electric motor can be charged from any 240-volt level 2 charging station as well as a conventional 110-volt outlet.
The BMW i8 is the world’s first series-produced vehicle to be made available with innovative laser headlights as an option. These generate a pure-white, extremely bright light that is pleasant to the eye by carefully converting the beams emitted by tiny laser diodes using a fluorescent phosphorous material inside the headlight. The laser diodes are ten times smaller than conventional light-emitting diodes, helping to save space in the headlight unit and also to reduce weight. The BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will be the first car in the US to have this technology, pending government approval. If necessary these headlights will be retrofit subsequent to delivery. It will also be the first BMW in the US to offer an innovative display key which features an integrated LCD touch screen.
The 2014 BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will not only offer the winning bidder the chance to own one of the first BMW i8s in the US, but also to own a truly one-of-a-kind example of the world’s most innovative sports car.