Give us an i8 Spyder already and cut the crap!

The 2017 Geneva Motor Show is only a month away and automakers are slowly unveiling their new products for Europe’s first major car show of the year. Among them, BMW has already launched the new 5 Series Touring (wagon) and two special-edition models of the i8. The latter two go by the name Protonic Frozen Black Edition and Frozen Yellow Edition and made me die a bit inside.

Why BMW, why do you keep making Protonic editions of the i8 that don’t have much to offer besides an exterior color and new interior trim?

In case you’re not familiar with these special editions, BMW first introduced the Protonic i8 at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The first car was named Protonic Red and had an exclusive red paint job, gray wheels, and some red detailing inside. At the Paris Motor Show, we saw the Protonic Dark Silver, which had a... wait for it... dark gray metallic exterior. BMW didn’t even bother to release interior shots for this car.

Now, BMW introduced the Protonic Frozen Black and Protonic Frozen Yellow. Obviously, their main features are the black and yellow exterior paints (shocking!), plus yellow stitching and a few small additions on the inside. Sure, the new paints come from Individual and are pretty fancy — the matte black shines like a metallic color in certain lighting conditions — but that’s about it. Oh, wait, both will be produced in limited runs (no numbers yet), but I’m still not impressed. There aren’t many automotive things I hate more than so-called limited-edition models that are just repainted standard cars.

I mean, is it so hard to make a two-paint, add a custom upholstery, or maybe even create a livery inspired by BMW’s successful racing past? Okay, okay, I do get the Protonic line and the need to give customers a special paint job in the absence of actual upgrades, but how many cars are you going to make, BMW? This year’s Geneva will be the third auto show to feature a repainted i8 and it seems to me that BMW is creating these models just to populate its booth.

Why not offer something new? Like a significant power update or, even better, a spyder version of the i8. I’m sure customers will go nuts over a convertible and sales would increase dramatically. An i8 Spyder and more optional exterior paints in the configurator would basically eliminate the need of Protonic special-edition models for a few years. Give it a rest and give us what we want, BMW!

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