2020 BMW i8 Review

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2020 BMW i8 Overview

First launched in 2014, the BMW i8 is part futuristic hybrid, part exotic supercar, and part luxury grand tourer. From its wing doors to its sculpted tail and laser headlights, the BMW i8 isn’t like anything else on the road. Even so, 2020 will be the last model year for the i8. To send the car off, BMW is introducing an Ultimate Sophisto Edition for the first 200 buyers. It features special gray metallic paint with copper accents on the 20-inch alloy wheels, kidney grille inserts, and side skirts. The brake calipers get black paint with blue detailing, and the doorsill plates feature the Ultimate Sophisto Edition script. Otherwise, the standard 2020 BMW i8 is still available as either a coupe or a roadster and with only a handful of options.

Underneath the i8’s unconventional, other-worldly styling is a similarly unconventional powertrain. A turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gas engine works in tandem with an 11.6-kWh battery pack and electric motors to drive all four wheels. The i8 can go up to 18 miles on electric power alone. The total system output is 369 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The i8 can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds in coupe form or 4.4 seconds in roadster form. Top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph. The i8 delivers fuel-economy ratings of 27 mpg combined once the battery is depleted and a figure of 69 MPGe for the whole system.

The i8’s cabin is futuristic with a high-quality fit and finish. An 8.8-inch touchscreen houses the infotainment system and includes navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay. Heated seats also come standard, along with leather upholstery and forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. BMW’s ultra-bright headlights are optional, as are two appearance packages that add special colors for the cabin. The coupe includes back seats while the roadster deletes them. As for the trunk: It is predictably tiny at just 4.7 cubic feet.

The i8 is an undeniably interesting car both from a driving and a design standpoint, and 2020 is the last chance to buy one.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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