Secondhand supercars certainly aren’t average used cars, but some are surprisingly priced like ones. Whether from technology’s march or changing tastes, depreciation can bring things like Bentleys and Aston Martins within mere mortals’ reaches. But while they’ve lost value, these used exotics often still feel, well, exotic. And even today, few capture that ethos better than this week’s Bring a Trailer bargain: a 2015 BMW i8.
Its hybrid tech lost the performance race, but the 2015 BMW i8 still looks like the future
|2015 BMW i8|
|Engine and motor arrangement||Mid-mounted 1.5-liter ‘B38’ turbocharged three-cylinder with synchronous electric motor and front-mounted synchronous electric motor|
|Horsepower (combined)||357 hp|
|Torque (combined)||420 lb-ft|
|Transmissions||Six-speed automatic (for mid-mounted engine and motor)|
Two-speed automatic (for front-mounted motor)
|Battery capacity||7.1 kWh (gross)|
5 kWh (usable)
|Maximum battery-only range||23 miles|
|Curb weight||3455 lbs|
|0-60 mph time||EV Mode: 9.2 seconds (Car and Driver)|
Hybrid Mode: 4.2 seconds (claimed), 4.0 seconds (Car and Driver)
It debuted for the 2014 model year, but the BMW i8 remains a stunningly futuristic-looking supercar. And yes, it is a supercar—a hybrid supercar at that. True, it has a three-cylinder engine and less than 400 hp. But that engine is mounted in the middle of BMW’s first production carbon-fiber chassis. Also, its triple-motor setup gives it AWD. Plus, peep the gullwing doors. And how many supercars do you know that have three-cylinder plug-in powertrains?
Unfortunately, while the BMW i8 felt futuristic in 2015, it felt anachronistic in some ways when it left production in 2020. Although BMW bumped the i8’s power and battery capacity in 2019, the supercar couldn’t keep up with Tesla’s Plaid EVs. Not just in terms of technology, but in raw acceleration, either. Furthermore, even before the Model S Plaid could speed past it, the i8 struggled to sell because of its six-figure price tag. And so, BMW’s hybrid experiment ended up falling stylishly flat.
However, while it’s not quite EV fast, a 2015 BMW i8 can still crack off four-second 0-60 mph runs. Also, there’s no need to hunt for public chargers with this supercar; the battery recharges in Sport Mode, Car and Driver says. In addition, the carbon-fiber chassis and integrated battery pack give the i8 excellent balance and handling. And despite its wild styling, it has great visibility. Also, the seats and ride are comfortable, especially around town.
So, while it’s not an EV, a used BMW i8 is still a proper supercar.
Check out this one-owner model on Bring a Trailer
A 47,653-mile odometer reading might give some supercar owners pause. But that’s not unusual for a 2015 BMW i8 like the one on Bring a Trailer. As noted earlier, these are daily-drivable exotics. And this i8 looks none the worse for its ‘wear’; this one-owner car is in great shape and has a zero-accident history.
It’s also a well-equipped example. In addition to leather upholstery, this 2015 BMW i8 has a full-color heads-up display, 8.8” digital gauge cluster, 8.8” touchscreen with navigation, heated front seats, LED lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound audio system. It also has ADAS features, including adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, and BMW’s Active Driving Assistant. Plus, adaptive suspension, automatic-dimming mirrors, cornering headlights, and even a leather engine cover.
Besides the clean history, this 2015 BMW i8 also has extensive service records. The owner replaced the windshield last year as well as the spark plugs and microfilters. They changed the brake fluid and oil at the same time, too.
Is a used BMW i8 a reliable hybrid supercar?
As of this writing, this 2015 BMW i8 is listed at $30,250 with four days left in the auction. It’s worth noting that it originally stickered at $148,295. So, in seven years it’s lost almost 80% of its original value. Furthermore, the cheapest pre-update i8 with similar miles currently listed on Autotrader costs over twice as much. In short, this is a bargain used hybrid supercar.
Admittedly, even a depreciated i8 was originally a six-figure BMW. So, potential bidders should get a pre-purchase inspection to identify potential problems. However, it seems these are fairly reliable, at least for supercars. So far, the B38’s only major issue appears to be carbon buildup, which often affects many direct-injection engines. Also, this i8 dates from September 2015, so it’s unaffected by the sensor recall.
As such, this used BMW i8 could be a great way to get sleek hybrid supercar style at a fraction of the original price.
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