The pioneering BMW i8 plug-in hybrid supercar is living its last days, as the final Ultimate Sophisto Edition models reach US dealerships. Production of the BMW i8 Coupe and Roadster is scheduled to come to a definitive end in April 2020. The swan song for the exuberant plug-in hybrid sports car will be the Ultimate Sophisto Edition models, which are to be assembled in a limited run of just 200 units, available for both the Coupe and Roadster versions.
Recently, the shiny new i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition models have started populating the US dealerships in the quest for new customers. The special edition line that’s sending off the BMW i8 in style is comprised of a unique exterior and interior individualization.
The futuristic outer design is adorned by the deep Sophisto Grey metallic paint finish, which also gives the name of this limited i8 series. Further electrifying styling features comprise the E-Copper body accents and the 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels with radial-spoke design and E-Copper finish.
The new i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition also comes standard with the BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, which add shiny black accents to the window line, tailgate and C-pillar, as well as clear-glass tail lamps. Last, but not least, the brake calipers are finished in black and sport the BMW i logo, with blue detailing.
The cabin of the i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition is likewise special: to 200-unit limited series i8 receives a unique Accaro interior in dual Black/E-Copper cloth/leather upholstery. In addition, the door sills bear the inscription “Ultimate Sophisto Edition 1 of 200”, which is repeated on the labels installed on the sides of the central tunnel. Furthermore, the electronic sport gearbox selector and the iDrive controller are coated in ceramic material. The Coupe variant also boasts a anthracite-colored roofliner.
The standard technological equipment package for the i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition models includes the BMW Head-Up Display, the Ambient Light Package, the Harman/Kardon high-fidelity audio system and the ConnectedDrive Services package. In Germany, the Ultimate Sophisto Edition configuration adds an extra 11,000 euros over a standard i8 version, but units sold by dealers could have a rebate.
The i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition Coupe pictured at a US-based BMW dealer has a final MSRP of $151,495, which includes the $995 destination charge tax and the Ultimate Sophisto Edition package worth of just $3,000. The equipment list also includes the Comfort Access system, carbon fiber dashboard trims, electrically-adjustable heated seats, Active Driving Assistant, Apple CarPlay integration, real-time traffic information and Bluetooth/Smartphone enhanced connectivity.
The i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition is underpinned by the state-of-the-art LifeDrive technical platform. The hybrid configuration consists of the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine rated at 231 PS (228 hp) and an electric eDrive motor with a peak output of 143 PS (141 hp). The total power output thus reaches 374 PS (369 hp) and 569 Nm (420 lb-ft) of maximum torque.
After a lifespan of roughly 7 years, the i8 units sold globally sum up to less than 20,000, hardly making it a popular choice due in part to its hefty acquisition price. The i8 was mostly intended to be a test bed for future technologies and it was more of a technology flagship for the proud BMW engineers than a thoroughbred supercar.
However, as ridiculously priced and strangely ahead of its time as it was, I will deeply miss the i8. And likely, I will not be alone.
[Source: BMWi post]