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The last of the BMW i8 models being rolled out of the assembly lines.
The last of the BMW i8 models being rolled out of the assembly lines.

Last of BMW i8 hybrid sports cars rolls out of Leipzig plant

  • The last of the units - an i8 Roadster with the special Portimo Blue paint finish - was given a farewell by BMW workers.

BMW has stopped production of its hybrid sports car i8 at its Leipzig plant. To give a fitting farewell, BMW organised a small celebration on Thursday when the last of the BMW i8 hybrid cars was rolled out of the assembly line.

The BMW i8 started its worldwide success story as a unique symbiosis of futuristic design and pioneering technology.

In 2013, the i8 production model was introduced, in which BMW exceeded the milestone of 20,000 units in December 2019. Interestingly, the i8 was the first mass produced car with laser headlights.

On Thursday, the last unit of BMW i8 rolled off the assembly line - an i8 Roadster with the special Portimo Blue paint finish. The vehicle will now be delivered to its customer in Lower Saxony.

In front of around 200 employees, the core of the BMW i8 production team, plant manager Hans-Peter Kemser emphasised the importance of the vehicle for the Leipzig plant. With the BMW i8, the plant broke completely new ground in modern automobiles due to the specific vehicle architecture and the revolutionary drive system.

Exactly 20,448 copies of the i8 have left the factory since production started a good six years ago. In the end, six were built a day. The fact that BMW will abandon the production of i8, it became known last year. In some markets, such as the UK, orders for the model have already been stopped. In India, the car was priced at 2.62 crore before it was discontinued.

Earlier, it was decided to end production of BMW i8 by April. However, because the plant came to a standstill in mid-March due to the coronavirus crisis, the end of production was postponed to June.

(Also read: BMW hits major landmark in US, rolls out five millionth car)

The Leipzig plant has been producing the 200 vehicles of the limited Ultimate Sophisto Edition of the BMW i8. One of the edition models was already manufactured in December 2019 as the 20,000th unit of the plug-in hybrid model. With this production volume, the BMW i8 has already outstripped many a legendary BMW sports car by far. Among the milestones in the history of sports cars, its sales figures are well ahead of classics such as the BMW M1, of which only 399 units were produced for road use, and also ahead of the BMW Z8 roadster, which was built around 5,000 times.

The BMW i8 developed into one of the world's most successful sports car with an electrified drive system. The hybrid came with a 7.1 kilowatt-hour battery, a one and a half litre turbo engine with 231 horsepower and a 131-horsepower electric motor. During the upgrade in 2018, the latter’s output was increased to 143 forces, and the battery capacity - up to 11.8 kilowatt hours. The i8 could accelerate from zero to 100 kmph in 4.4 seconds, and the maximum speed is 250 kilometres per hour.

  • First Published Date : 15 Jun 2020, 11:45 AM IST