BMW’s sports hybrid comes to Geneva with a limited-edition red suit

Officially launched in the U.S. in August of 2014, the BMW i8 has been met with huge enthusiasm, selling nearly 3,000 units as of December 2015. The hybrid sports car met its first customers at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where BMW also auctioned a special-edition model named after the event and equipped with several unique features inside and out. The car was sold for $825,000, six times the retail price of thei8. Now, BMW is preparing yet another special-edition model, this time around to be showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. It’s called the Protonic Red Edition and will enter production starting July 2016.

Much like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance edition, the Protonic Red i8 features a bespoke exterior and an custom interior with colors and stitching not available on the regular model. However, unlike the $825,000 sports car, the Protonic Red will have a sticker closer to the i8’s staring price and will be built in significantly more examples. Details as to how much it will cost and how many will be built aren’t yet available, but BMW said that the Protonic Red Edition will be available until the end of 2016.

Find out more about it below and stay tuned for updates from the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next month.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition.

What makes the BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition special

Much like all special-edition i8s released so far, the Protonic Red Edition wears an exclusive paint job. As the name suggests, the special hue is called Protonic Red, but this Bimmer received more than just fancy paint on the outside. The bright red is complemented by Frozen Grey Metallic accents, a color already available on the regular production model. On the Protonic Red Edition, the silver-like hue can be seen on the kidney grille, the side skirts, and around the rear fascia, where it provides a striking contrast with the black body panels. Rounding off the exterior is a set of W-spoke 470, light-alloy wheels finished in Orbit Grey Metallic with hubs painted in Aluminum Matt.

2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 665615

Open the door and you will be greeted by custom sills with "Protonic Red Edition" lettering. The front head restraints feature "i8" embossing, while the side bolsters have double lap seams in red, as well as red stitching. More red stitching can be seen on the door panels, adding a touch of color to the otherwise black and grey interior. Other additions include bespoke embellishers made from high-grade carbon-fiber for the center console and instrument panel, carbon-fiber pull handles, and a gear selector with black ceramic detailing. The Protonic Red also comes with specially designed floor mats with leather piping and red contrast stitching.

2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition High Resolution Interior
- image 665618

Not surprisingly, this special-edition i8 is a standard model under the hood, using the same 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, gasoline engine and synchronous motor as the regular sports car. The turbocharged three-pot cranks out 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor generates 129 horses and 184 pound-feet. Total output sits at 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet and enables the i8 to charge from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds. The car can travel up to 372 miles on both gasoline and electric power and 22 miles on electricity alone.

BMW i8

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 522685

Previewed by several concept cars and prototypes, the BMW i8 was introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and put into production in 2014. Deliveries to U.S. customers began in August of 2014. The i8 is BMW’s second mass-produced hybrid after the i3, which arrived in dealerships in late 2013. Global deliveries totaled 1,741 units in 2014, and 5,456 examples in 2015. In 2015, global sales of the BMW i8 exceeded the combined figure of all other hybrid sports cars produced by other manufacturers. As of December 2015, BMW sold 2,820 i8s in the U.S., an impressive figure for a vehicle that costs in excess of $130,000. The i8 has won many awards since its introduction, including the 2015 World Green Car Award, outgunning the Kia Soul EV and the Volkswagen Golf GTE.

Read our full review on the BMW i8 here.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

Press Release

The BMW i brand began manufacturing the first ever cars designed from the outset for zero-local-emission driving – in the form of the all-electric BMW i3 and the groundbreaking BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car – back in November 2013. By expanding its product portfolio to include a wealth of pioneering and highly convenient services, BMW i now has the largest worldwide market presence of any premium manufacturer of electric cars and is playing a very active role in shaping the future of personal mobility. In the process, the BMW i brand has come to represent an approach where sustainability is a key defining element, and it is synonymous above all with forward-looking mobility and progressive design.

2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 665615

All of these qualities are captured to highly impressive effect by the new BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition model on show in Geneva, which takes individuality to a whole new level with its exclusive highlights and equipment features. It is the prelude to a series of special-edition variants of the innovative plug-in hybrid sports car, which will each be available for a limited period of time only. It boasts all the special hallmarks of a BMW i car, such as the specially developed LifeDrive architecture with a passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), and the BMW eDrive powertrain technology that delivers exemplary efficiency combined with outstanding everyday practicality and generates the driving pleasure for which BMW is renowned.

The new BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition

The BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition taking to stage at the Geneva Motor Show is a new and exclusive limited-edition version of the plug-in hybrid sports car that offers customers a new option when it comes to tailoring the trailblazing sports coupe even more closely to their individual tastes. At the same time, the Protonic Red Edition is the first in a series of forthcoming special-edition variants, which will allow customers to enjoy a selection of bespoke equipment highlights in the 2+2-seater BMW i8 sports car.

Due to go into production this July, the inaugural special-edition BMW i8 sports an exclusive Protonic Red paint finish with contrast accents in Frozen Grey metallic. This is complemented by BMW W-spoke 470 light-alloy wheels painted in Orbit Grey metallic with hubs painted in Aluminium matt and mixedsize tyres (front: 215/45 R20, rear: 245/40 R20). The “i8” embossing on the front head restraints and the door sill strips bearing the lettering “Protonic Red Edition” lend a special touch to the interior’s natural aesthetic appeal. The seats feature double lap seams in red, and the red stitching is in evidence again in the door and side trim panels, echoing the exterior paintwork to perfection. Exclusively designed embellishers made from highgrade carbon fibre for the centre console and instrument panel reinforce the cool, sporty look of the BMW i8 interior, as do the carbon-fibre pull handles on the insides of the doors. The gear selector with black ceramic detailing, the grey-coloured seat belts and the specially designed floor mats with leather piping and red contrast stitching put the finishing touches to the cabin’s highly individual styling.

2016 BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 665616

The BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition will be produced at the Leipzig plant starting in July 2016, and will be available to order for a limited period only up to the end of 2016.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: