The final BMW i8 rolled off the assembly line in Leipzig, Germany, late last week, according to German-language website Bimmertoday. The last car, an i8 Roadster, was painted Portimao Blue by BMW Individual, the automaker's personalization division.
This i8 is likely the only one to leave the factory in Portimao Blue, according to BMW Blog, although the option for that color has been available through BMW Individual throughout the car's existence. BMW originally planned to end i8 production in April, but that was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the website noted.
Since the start of production in 2014, BMW has built 20,500 examples of the plug-in hybrid sports car. The last 18 cars off the line were built with input from members of the BMW i8 Club, according to BMW Blog.
2019 BMW i8
With dramatic styling and advanced carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic construction, the i8 certainly made a statement when it was launched. Experience gained working with carbon fiber on the i8 (as well as the i3 electric car) was applied to other BMW models, including the outgoing M3 and M4, as well as the 7-Series.
Yet the i8 was always an odd proposition. Its styling and $148,495 base price ($164,295 for the Roadster) said "supercar," but a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds was slower than many performance sedans, and even some SUVs. The i8's inline-3 was also never the most aurally exciting engine, even with the artificial sound BMW piped into the cabin. The car's skinny tires also didn't provide the handling prowess expected in a supercar.
BMW Vision M Next concept
BMW is thought to be working on a replacement for the i8. Last year, BMW unveiled the Vision M Next concept, which borrowed the lightweight chassis, but swapped the inline-3 for an inline-4. That engine worked with a pair of electric motors to produce 600 horsepower. That's a big upgrade from the current i8's 369 hp. However, BMW hasn't confirmed plans for a production model based on the Vision M Next.