BMW i8 replacement shelved due to coronavirus, report says

BMW showed the Vision M Next design study that likely previewed the next plug-in sports car.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
BMW Vision M Next Concept
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BMW Vision M Next Concept

The Vision M Next looked pretty good -- better than the i8 to me, personally.


It's probably best we don't continue learning about vehicle programs canned due to the coronavirus pandemic -- it only strengthens the "what could have been" feelings. But alas, it sounds like a planned BMW i8 successor is now off the table.

According to a report from Germany's Manager Magazin in late April, BMW shelved the replacement as the coronavirus is causing so many companies to conserve cash. Low-selling sports cars typically aren't the best investment at any point, and as the world worries about the global economy's future, a sports car likely got negative reactions within BMW. The report pegs cost as the main reason why the automaker scrapped the program. Of course, we don't know if this is the case, but it likely is.

We likely caught a preview of the next sports car in the form of the Vision M Next design study BMW showed last summer. The wild style looked wedgy, edgy and like a lovely leap forward from the already futuristic i8. A turbocharged inline-four and electric motors worked together to supply 600 horsepower and the machine could drive for 62 miles on electricity alone, making it a plug-in hybrid with a punch. Technology included -- like facial recognition to unlock the car -- was typical of a future-forward concept.

A BMW representative underscored that the Vision M Next was "not a concept car for a specific model but a design study that was shown at various motor shows last year," and declined to comment further on the speculation.

Yet, we'll likely never know what became of an i8 replacement. At least we have numerous other M models to take solace in.

BMW Vision M Next concept doesn't let the robots take over completely

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Watch this: The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster is a one-of-a-kind hybrid convertible