BMW’s design boss says if the company were to build a second-generation i8, it would “logically” remain a plug-in hybrid model.
Adrian van Hooydonk told Autocar a follow-up to the Munich-based firm's plug-in hybrid sportscar would naturally be “faster and run further than an i8 because we are 10 years on in terms of technology”.
Interestingly, he said a plug-in hybrid powertrain, rather than a (heavier) fully electric powertrain, was still “the best solution to realise the dynamics of an M car”.
BMW built about 20 500 units of the i8 over around six years, with the final i8 coming in the form of a roadster finished in Portimao Blue. Production was scheduled to end in April but delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic saw the final units being built in mid-June instead.
The i8 was revealed in Frankfurt in 2013, alongside the fully electric i3. While production of the i8 coupé started in Leipzig back in 2014, the roadster joined the assembly line as recently as February 2018.
The all-paw i8 is powered by a turbocharged 1,5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor (the latter drawing urge from a 34 Ah battery), resulting in total system outputs of 275 kW and 570 N.m.
For the time being, the i8 is still listed on BMW South Africa’s website, with the coupé priced from R2 286 800 and the roadster starting at R2 542 900.