The i8’s exit from the market could signal the introduction of a more capable successor or a BMW M halo car

The BMW i8 has become known as many things. BMW marketed it as a Porsche 911 rival. Some claimed it was the evolution of the BMW brand and a representation of what the future holds. Others hated it with a passion because it just didn’t lineup with every other BMW on the market. Regardless of how you look at the i8, one this is for sure, it’s not going to matter for much longer if the latest reports hold true. Those reports put the end of i8 production in the Spring of 2020.

If You Want a BMW i8, You Need to Hurry

The BMW i8 Goes Out of Production Soon, But The Story Doesn't End There Exterior Wallpaper quality
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In a report published by Autocar, a company spokesperson has allegedly said,

“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.”

BMW has yet to make an official confirmation of this, but if BMW’s last custom-built orders are due in by the end of February, then production for the i8 could end as early as April 2020. Or, at the very least, whenever the company finishes running out the parts it has on the production line. When you factor in that a lot of BMW dealers are already selling the i8 at a serious discount – nearly $25,000 below the $147,500 MSRP – it adds even more to the potential legitimacy of Autocar’s report.

The BMW i8 Goes Out of Production Soon, But The Story Doesn't End There Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The end of the i8 signals a couple of things for the sports car market. First and foremost, the i8 serves as one of just two mid-engined 2+2 vehicles on the market. When it goes out of production, that’ll leave only the Lotus Evora to tackle that small piece of market real estate. The other significant change will come right at the heart of BMW, what it is as a company, and where it’s going in the future.

Will There Be a Successor to the BMW i8?

2020 BMW i8 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Will have a fresh design based on the I Vision Dynamics concept

Over the past couple of years, we’ve heard a lot of drama about the i8 and what the future holds. Everything from the i8 simply being discontinued to various successors being on the horizon. Those successors include an i8-based hybrid that would take on the McLaren 570S, a 700-horsepower hybrid supercar that would be aimed at Ferrari, and even a standalone M halo car to take on the likes of the AMG GT. There’s even word that the BMW M Next Concept actually previewed the next-gen i8 and that the production model could, in fact, be all-electric and self-driving.

The problem with all of these theories, though, is that they are all written more like fan fiction than actual reality, and we all know that fan fiction almost never goes anywhere. The truth is that not even BMW knows if there will be a successor or what it will be. It’s only been a year since BMW said it was considering the future of the i8. It was said at the time that it could be reborn as an electric competitor to the second-gen Tesla Roadster and Audi R8 e-Tron. However, that’s about all that has come straight from BMW. Some sources indicate the next i8, or its successor, rather, will be developed with a “race-to-road strategy” that will blend in BMW’s experience with Formula E and its i division, much like BMW M cars are developed with experience garnered from BMW’s vast experience in motorsport.

Is the BMW i8 Really as Good as People Claim?

2015 BMW i8 Drivetrain
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The BMW i8 was, without a doubt, an oddball in BMW’s lineup, as it was different from everything else the company offers. It was based on the turbodiesel concept that was revealed way back in 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and went on sale in 2014 as a flagship of BMW’s i range.

It was a full-fledged, mid-engined 2+2 that was only rivaled in design by the Lotus Evora.

Powered by a 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder and a low-output electric motor, the i8 was good from 357 horsepower in 2014 but was boosted to 369 ponies in 2018.

It has the supercar looks, but with less than 400 horsepower on tap, the i8 – despite everything that it was good at – the i8 was still labeled a disappointment as some. This becomes even more accurate when you consider it has $147,500 MSRP – a figure that can get you significantly more power and better performance. Of course, the i8 isn’t exactly impressively slow, either. It could reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and It did top out at 155 mph, but it still eventually became an oddball of the automotive world too. For what it’s worth, it did have 18 miles of all-electric range when it was updated in 2018, so it at least had that going for it.

2019 BMW i8 specifications
Drive concept Hybrid-specific all-wheel drive: combustion engine sends power to therear wheels, electric motor sends power to the front wheels
Drive type hybrid AWD
Engine rear-mounted turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder
Electric motor front-mounted synchronous
Engine transmission six-speed automatic
Motor transmission two-speed automatic
Engine output 228 HP @ 5,800 RPM, 236 LB-FT @ 3,700 RPM
Motor output 141 HP @ 4,800 RPM, 184 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
0-to-60 mph 4.2 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (electronically limited)
Top Speed (electric) 75 mph
All-electric range 18 miles
Estimated fuel economy 70 MPGe

When Will a Successor to the BMW i8 Be Launched?

The BMW i8 Goes Out of Production Soon, But The Story Doesn't End There Exterior
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You have to admit that it’s not surprising that the BMW i8 has come to the end of its life cycle. As of 2020, it’s now six years old, and moving into 2021, it just wouldn’t be able to hold its own on the market. I’ll sing praise for its design and technological know-how and even the fact that BMW was able to be successful with it, but it’s time to put this dog down. Say what you want about BMW, but at least it knows when it’s time to call it quits. Now, all we have to learn is what comes next. It’s certainly not the end for BMW’s iPerformance lineup. No, no, no. BMW won’t let that happen, especially with the importance now being placed on electric and hybrid cars.

Whatever it is that BMW is cooking up, won’t happen anytime soon. The brand isn’t going to follow up with a successor right away, as it just wouldn’t make sense. First, demand needs to climb, and that will happen in time as the i8 sits on the shelf – this is part of the reason why the Dodge Challenger and Charger were so successful, and why the new Ford Bronco will be successful. People have wanted them for so long; there’s no way they can fail. BMW will take the same route with the i8 successor, but to a lesser extent, of course. We’re looking at a timeline of about five years, with a potential concept coming by 2023. If we were to put down bets, we’d say BMW will skip the i nomenclature and dive straight into a true-to-life BMW M halo car. It’s been desired for so long that it actually hurts, and it’s a logical step. Plus, BMW can finally take on bigger names as suggested in reports that it would take on McLaren, Ferrari, and the like.

The BMW i8 Goes Out of Production Soon, But The Story Doesn't End There Exterior Wallpaper quality
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One this is for sure – whatever succeeds the i8 is going to be freaking amazing. We’ll just have to wait a while before we get to see what it is.

Source: Autocar

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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