Sports Cars

BMW i8 scheduled to die next April, signs off with Ultimate Sophisto Edition

It's the end of the road for the plug-in hybrid sports car.

Adios, friend.

BMW

BMW is ready to say goodbye to a sports car that arguably began an electrified era far before others. The BMW i8 will depart the automotive landscape next April, and before it checks out, the German marque has put together a final edition.

The automaker said on Sunday the 2020 i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition "is the final chapter in the story of a very special car." A separate announcement for Europe declared "production of the i8 will come to an end, as scheduled, in April 2020."

The i8 stormed into the world in 2014 and served as a hero car for the BMW's budding i division. Unlike other sports cars, BMW plopped a turbocharged inline-3 engine under the hood and married it to an electric motor. Both units in the latest models combined make 369 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, and all-wheel drive is standard. To help keep weight down, the sports car boasts a carbon-fiber reinforced-plastic passenger cell and an aluminum chassis.

BMW followed the i8 coupe with a convertible version in 2018, which should make the latter more of a rarity.

As for this 2020 i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition, BMW said it will be limited to 200 units globally and offered in coupe and convertible forms. Sophisto Gray metallic coats the exterior and copper accents highlight the 20-inch wheels, grille and side skirts. Black and "Shadowline" colors cover the tailgate and C-pillar, while the brake calipers don blue details. Inside, BMW marks the car's significance with "Ultimate Sophisto Edition" door plates and an interior badge denoting that it's one of 200 cars. Copper accents also make their way to the i8's cockpit trim.

Overall it's a mighty lukewarm special edition, but at least BMW is marking the i8's exit from the world at all. BMW also revealed the car alongside an i3s Roadstyle special edition, though the company didn't mention anything about the i3's life. The i3 gains similar copper appointments but wears a black exterior color.

And just like that, it's the end of the road for BMW i's icon. The company said build slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so get to a dealer quickly.

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