It’s official. The BMW i8 is the best selling hybrid sports car in the world, according to New Delhi TV. Of course, that news has to be tempered with the fact that there really aren’t any other hybrid sports cars in the world, at least since the Porsche 918 went out of production. You could apply that label to the weak selling Honda CR-Z, but there isn’t anything all that sporty about Honda’s sheep in wolf”s clothing.
BMW sold 5,456 of its sexy hybrid supercars last year. The i8 combines a turbocharged 3 cylinder engine driving the rear wheels and an electric motor for the front wheels. It is powerful yet economical and it looks terrific, especially when its swan wing doors are open. The motoring press is in love with this car. Top Gear named it the Car Of The Year in 2014. When it first went into production, people were paying as much as 50% over sticker to get one. Demand has leveled off somewhat, but sales are still strong.
Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, says, “The success of the BMW i8 speaks for itself. It is already the world’s most successful hybrid sports car and has comfortably exceeded our own expectations. I can think of no better illustration of the relevance of our young BMW i brand.”
Next month in Geneva, BMW will introduce a special i8 model called the Protonic Red Edition. I have no idea what the word “protonic” means, but there is no debating that this car is RED. It has Frozen Gray metallic highlights plus BMW’s W-spoke 470 light-alloy wheels finished in gray with matte aluminum accents. On the inside, the upholstery features red double stitching.
Production for the limited edition car will begin in July at the factory in Leipzig. BMW has not revealed how much of price premium the Protonic Red edition will have over the standard car, which lists for $140,700.