Another Geneva-bound special edition BMW i8 is making waves

It’s easy to see why some people have become weary of BMW’s penchant to dress up the i8 in special edition wardrobes when the common call for the German automaker is to drop some serious updates on the car. After all, the long-promised i8 Spyder has not yet arrived and a next-generation model isn’t making its debut anytime soon. Heck, there was even one point when talk of a “hotter” i8 – reportedly called the i8S – was in everyone’s radar. Nothing has come out of it though and the restless have become even more angsty. In the meantime, BMW seems to be content in dropping one special edition i8 after another and the latest to get that treatment is the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition.

In truth, the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition was announced together with the i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition. You might even say that with the exception of the body color that’s carried over into their actual names, both special edition i8s are somewhat identical to one another.

BMW’s approach with the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition is simple and straight to the point, as it has been for other Protonic special editions that the German automaker has released in the past. Remember the i8 Protonic Red Edition and the i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition from last year? Lump in the the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow’s tag-team partner, the Protonic Frozen Black Edition, and you can see a familiar template being followed here.

Yes, the family of special edition BMW i8s is growing and until we get to see some concrete movement in the expansion of the model’s line-up, we might have to settle ourselves with the understanding that for now, the scope of BMW’s expansion plans for the i8 will largely be focused on more special edition models in the near future, possibly of the “Protonic” persuasion.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing since there’s still a segment of the population that get excited over these models. But the novelty is also wearing thin for some people and as creative as these special edition i8s are, the time when people we’re falling over their feet in excitement every time BMW released one has clearly passed.

There’s a good chance that the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition will still attract a lot of people. But don’t be surprised if just as many start jumping off the bandwagon.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition.

  • 2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
  • Year:
    2017
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What makes the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition so special?

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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That’s an interesting question because at the heart of all the Protonic special edition i8s we’ve seen in the past, there is one prevailing theme behind them. The uniqueness of each of these models can be traced to their body colors, which BMW even put in the names of the special editions. The i8 Protonic Red Edition came with a Protonic Red paint while the Protonic Dark Silver Edition featured a Dark Silver body color. Notice the trend here?

The i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition is the latest to get this treatment, and as you might expect, it’s enduring special quality is the Protonic Frozen Yellow paint finish that it comes with. To be fair, BMW Individual created these paint finishes to be exclusive to the models they come in so no standard BMW i8 is in line to receive the same color or treatment.

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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It’s enduring special quality is the Protonic Frozen Yellow paint finish that it comes with.

Move past the unique body color of the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition and you’ll notice that most of its other exclusive features are shared with its Geneva co-star, the aforementioned i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition. One of these chard characteristics is the set of BMW’s new 20-inch i light-alloy wheels that not only come in a “W-Spoke” design, but also with matte-painted surfaces.

Step inside the cabin of the special edition i8 and, once again, the similarities are impossible to ignore. Sure, the door still strips with the “Edition” inscriptions are different - it says Protonic Frozen Yellow for this particular model - but everything else, including the yellow contrast stitching on the seat surfaces, center console, as well as the side panel trim and door cards, on the floor mats, and in the lower section of the instrument panel. Serving as distinguishable complements to the yellow stitching is an anthracite-colored headliner, grey seat belt straps, and ceramic applications for the selector lever and iDrive Controller.

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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Step inside the cabin of the special edition i8 and, once again, the similarities are impossible to ignore.

Aesthetically, the interior amenities work in adding a nice touch of sportiness and personality to the interior of the BMW i8. But it is getting a little predictable, which has become a common concern for a lot of people.

Has the novelty of these BMW i8 Protonic special editions worn off?

It really depends on who you ask because some people still appreciate the fact that BMW and BMW Individual continue to work hard in presenting the i8 in different aesthetic iterations. There’s something to be said for being committed to providing more variety for future BMW i8 owners.

On the other hand, I can’t dismiss the frustrations other people are getting by what they think is a very long and obscenely slow play coming from BMW with regards to adding more variety to the i8 line that isn’t limited to fancy colors from BMW Exclusive. It’s a legitimate source of concern because the i8 has been around for 2014 and the closest thing to any meaningful changes it has received since that time is the removal of the gullwing doors that were used in the first few years of the model.

As far as these special edition models are concerned, I don’t think BMW is going to stop building them for as long as there’s interest from people who are willing to buy them. The key from here on out is to ensure that all future special edition i8s receive bolder upgrades than the ones we’ve seen from these Protonic special editions.

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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The key from here on out is to ensure that all future special edition i8s receive bolder upgrades than the ones we’ve seen from these Protonic special editions.

If anything, BMW could even tap into some i8-based concepts it has unveiled in the past and try to draw inspiration from them. The i8 Concours d’ Elegance Edition is a nice example, as is the i8 CrossFade Concept that BMW, together with Garage Italia Customs, presented at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Those two examples show that there’s still plenty of potential for the current BMW i8 to be more than what it currently is.

It’s going to be tricky for BMW to navigate this terrain as it probably has its hands full on cars like the long-overdue i8 Spyder. But if anybody can pull it off and do it with absolute efficiency, it’s BMW.

Personally, I’m not against the Protonic special edition i8s. I actually like the Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition because it gives some character and personality to the car. But I can’t dismiss the growing frustrations either and all those who share in that opinion have valid points to make.

Ultimately, I think a lot of people wish the same thing for the BMW i8 as I do. These SEs are nice to look at, but we’d rather see some progress made on the second-generation BMW i8, or at the very least, the i8 Roadster that’s been talked about for a number of years now.

Want to really catch our attention, BMW? Focus on those things.

Press Release

The BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition – which will be produced in a limited run and go on sale in April 2017 – owes its striking appearance to a model-specific BMW Individual paint finish. The exclusive exterior shade Protonic Frozen Black shares its canvas with accents in Frozen Grey metallic. A sophisticated application process is employed to transfer the paint to the BMW i8’s carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) bodywork.

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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The Protonic Frozen Black finish has a silky-matt shimmer and shines a particularly vivid spotlight on the plug-in-hybrid sports car’s dynamic lines and flowing surface design. The i8 line-up will be joined, later in 2017, by another special-edition model variant – the BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition, which is likewise headlined by an exclusive BMW Individual paint finish. Both special-edition models will sport newly designed 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels in W-Spoke design with matt-painted surfaces and mixed-size tyres.

2017 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition
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Inside the two special-edition models, contrast stitching in Yellow for the seat surfaces and centre console underlines the sporty and extravagant looks that dominate the cockpit design of the BMW i8. Yellow contrast stitching can also be found in the side panel trim and door cards, on the floor mats and in the lower section of the instrument panel. An anthracite-coloured headliner, grey seat belt straps, ceramic applications for the selector lever and iDrive Controller, and door sill strips with “Edition” inscriptions add the finishing touches to the exclusive interior ambience of the special-edition models.

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