Reports that the BMW i8 would be a popular plug-in vehicle have been circulating since stories claiming 'sold out' status circulated late last year. Those turned out not to be entirely true, but now that deliveries have actually started, the $160,000 EV is proving to be only available to the patient in posh English shops.

The Telegraph reports that there is a 10-month waiting period for the i8 in the UK, where one dealer (Park Lane in London's Mayfair) has managed to convince 170 people to place an order. Well, maybe convince isn't the right word. The store's sales manager told The Telegraph, "We've had numerous people asking to buy the display car. Many have said to me: name your price." Many locals want the car to avoid paying the expensive London congestion charge.

The i8 uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine and a 96-kilowatt electric motor to move from 9 to 60 miles per hour in only 4.2 seconds. The plug-in powertrain is good for 357 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The plugged portion gives the i8 an EV range of up to 22 miles.

The first i8 in the US is going to be auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Weekend next weekend.


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  • 16 Comments
      purrpullberra
      • 6 Days Ago
      LTAW pointed out that the congestion charge is about polluting/pollutants and so even this AWESOME car can qualify. So the 918 also avoids congestion charges but only in electric mode? Are there any other, well, supercars that can avoid the charge besides the 2 Tesla (Teslii), the i8 and 918? Can the Enzo2 manage or the P1? Anyway, if you only build X cars a month you'll get a 10 month wait list somewhat easy selling something this wonderful. But they may only build 10 a month. That's not a guess btw. But I've heard this too many times to ever give it much credence.
      Spec
      • 6 Days Ago
      I'm getting tired of BMW's "Our i cars are in such great demand that we can't meet it!" stories. You look at the actual sales numbers and say "Well yeah . . . because you aren't building very many cars thus creating a fake shortage."
      • 6 Days Ago
      Interesting that BMW decided to go with a 2 speed tranny for the electric motor to make better use of it's torque curve. Maybe Tesla can learn something from them... ;-)
      toyolla2
      • 6 Days Ago
      Seems England hasn't changed much since I left 40 years ago. I would like to blame this situation on uncontrolled immigration and population growth but when a 357Hp gasoline engined car can escape the congestion charge because it has an electric motor... words fail me. So if they have to have THIS car then what do they think the Tesla Model S is ? Chopped liver ? BMW obviously got some corporatism going on in the upper circle of ruling elites. The i-8 has great technology, just not suitable for Central London and ten years too late IMO.
      DaveMart
      • 6 Days Ago
      'Many locals want the car to avoid paying the expensive London congestion charge.' What a lovely notion. So London's rather extensive set of sheiks and oligarchs are after the £100,000 and odd car because they can't rake up a tenner to pay the congestion charge, not in order to make sure that they are blinged up to the max. I checked to see if that was the Telegraph or ABG being rather absurd, but the link doesn't actually work.
        Spec
        • 6 Days Ago
        @DaveMart
        Is this car even exempt from the congestion change? We learned the other day that it has an all electric range of ZERO. It does have 15 miles of electric/gas range.
          purrpullberra
          • 6 Days Ago
          @Spec
          LTAW: that makes sense, I suppose then. But do Subaru's partial zero emissions cars count too then? I'm not sure if they're comparable honestly.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Days Ago
          @Spec
          It is exempt: "Current the following EVs and PHEVs qualify for a London Congestion Charge Exemption: BMW i3 with range extender, BMW i8..." https://ev-charging.com/at/en/news/news_item/2072792 The congestion charge is based on CO2 emissions, so AER is irrelevant. "Following a Mayoral announcement, the Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD) and the Electrically Propelled Vehicle (EVD) have now closed to new registrations. Cars or vans (not exceeding 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) which emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and that meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality qualify for a 100% discount on the Congestion Charge." https://www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/discounts-and-exemptions?intcmp=2133
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Days Ago
          @Spec
          "But do Subaru's partial zero emissions cars count too then?" I don't see them on the list (link above). As far as I can tell, no Subaru gets close to the 75gm/km limit. The Justy seems closest, but still way over at 118 g/km. http://www.car-emissions.com/cars/model/SUBARU
      • 6 Days Ago
      It is not really an all electric vehicle but a ugly pretender Tesla wannabe vehicle, why would people pay so much money for cars that are 100 year old primitive technology.
      goodoldgorr
      • 6 Days Ago
      Im not interested to buy but im sure that here there is some that can buy it, who are they ?
      • 6 Days Ago
      TRUTH BE TOLD TO ALL YOU VOLT HATERS OUT THERE... BMW HIRED THE ENGINEERS,FROM GM WHO CREATED THE VOLT...FOR THE I4 AND I 8 PROJECT...
      thecommentator2013
      • 6 Days Ago
      Voltec is better. The i8 is good as a showcase, but not mainstream. Not yet.
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