The BMW i8 was one of the most striking cars to debut in 2013, looking almost identical to its concept car. BMW built the i8 as the halo model of its new electrified line of vehicles. The i8 was a plug-in hybrid with a $147,500 starting price. Six years later, thanks to depreciation, used examples of the i8 now sell for under $60,000, according to AutoTrader. With no end in sight, the i8’s value could continue to decrease, making it a supercar bargain.
Good looks, average sales figures
The BMW i8 officially went on sale in the United States toward the end of 2014. The first few years were good for the i8 with 2,265 units sold in 2015, according to CarSalesBase. Despite this, the hybrid supercar quickly lost steam, with just 488 units sold in 2017. The convertible variant’s introduction raised sales considerably to 1,102 in 2019, but BMW ultimately pulled the plug earlier this year. In total, just 20,465 i8’s were ever produced, with 6,775 finding homes in the U.S.
There are a couple of key factors as to why the i8 never indeed sold well, and the first had to do with its price. Being a part of an all-new vehicle line meant that buyers had no clue how it would perform. On top of that, the $147,500 starting price narrowed the pool of prospective buyers considerably, making it one of the most expensive BMW’s at the time. Long term potentially expensive maintenance costs also meant that buyers sold them reasonably quickly, flooding the used market.
Here’s why you should buy one
RELATED: Cars For The Eco-Friendly Driver
One of the main draws of the BMW i8 is its styling. With concept-car looks, the i8 looks stunning from any angle. The drama amplifies when stepping in as the butterfly doors open up like wings. For less than $60,000, the i8 may just be the cheapest way of getting factory butterfly doors. Once inside, the i8 greets its passengers with a light-filled cabin and a comfortable seating arrangement. The i8’s minimal interior design was significantly ahead of its time and still looks futuristic.
Eco-conscious enthusiasts will be glad to know that parts of the i8’s interior utilize recycled materials for its construction. The plug-in hybrid powertrain is quiet and incredibly fuel-efficient, meaning that the i8 is less of a Sunday supercar and more of a daily driver. The i8’s compliant suspension also means that it can cover long distances without significant strain. The added benefit of it not being a fully-electric car is that the onboard range-extending internal combustion engine allows long drives without charging.
A fun, eco-friendly supercar
Aside from the butterfly doors and the futuristic styling, the BMW i8 is also mid-engined. Powering the i8 is a combination of a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The combination of both produced a respectable 369 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. While that may not seem like a lot of power, the i8 weighed about the same as a Volkswagen GTI, which made it fairly quick. The i8 can hit 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and continue onto a limited top speed of 155 mph. Power travels via a 6-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.
The big draw of the i8 was its efficiency, which resulted in a combined average mpg of 28. The result is that while the i8 may not be the fastest supercar in the world, it certainly is one of the most efficient, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy it longer, for less money.