The Tesla Model S has stolen a serious slice of luxury car sales from established brands like BMW, which could fight back with a BMW i8 Gran Coupe. Sure, it’s just a rendering by a relatively obscure Internet artist for now, but BMW has already expressed interest in a Tesla contender…and a four-door i8 just might be the ticket.
Of course there are practicality concerns, and having sat in a BMW i8 for an extended period of time (to the point where people were getting annoyed with me…), I can definitively say it is a driver-oriented car. The two back seats are just there for show, and maybe a briefcase or overnight bag, but not much else. Extend the wheelbase, add a couple of doors and a little bit of headroom, however, and if you’ve suddenly 2+2 plug-in hybrid supercar capable of a 4.4 second dash from 0 to 60 MPH.
What’s not to love?
It’s not that much of a “stretch” to imagine an elongated i8, with a slightly higher MSRP than the standard coupe, being positioned as a Model S competitor. There’s a massive gap in both versatility and price between the $41.350 BMW i3 and the $135,000 i8 though, and if Bimmer really wants to compete with Tesla, it needs to have a similar $70,000 starting price. So, while a BMW i8 Gran Coupe is a grand idea, an all-new BMW i5 sedan is the most likely candidate to compete with the Model S.
Still, the four-door i8 is every bit as pretty as the two-door version, and I wouldn’t mind having either or in my dream garage.