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BMW’s ground-breaking i8 supercar axed

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BMW’s futuristic supercar has been consigned to the past.

It has been reported that BMW will cease production of its hybrid i8 supercar this year.

The i8 was easily recognisable with its Batmobile looks and upward swinging doors.

Despite looking the part, the i8 never really cut it among other supercars, even though it was priced like one at $318,900 before on-roads.

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media_cameraA Roadster version joined the line-up in 2018.

The i8 was ground-breaking in bringing a petrol-electric set-up to a high-powered luxury sports car. Hybrids at that time were mostly reserved for one-off, experimental performance cars or stock-standard passengers cars.

BMW combined a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine with an electric motor, the former powering the rear wheels and the latter the front.

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media_cameraThe i8 brought low emissions motoring to the top end of the market.

The combo produced a respectable 275kW/570Nm. But the remarkable part was the claimed fuel use of about 2.0L/100km.

The i8 went into production in 2014 in coupe form with a drop-top roadster version arriving in recent years.

The i8 was even used as a police car attached to the Rose Bay Local Area Command in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The vehicle was used for community engagement programs rather than chasing down bad guys.

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media_cameraThe BMW i8 was enlisted into the NSW Police Force in 2016.

British publication Autocar reports that the demise of the i8 is to make way for the German brand’s new line of electric cars.

BMW and many other car makers are embarking on an era of huge investment in electric cars as they chase lower emissions. BMW has an electric SUV, sedan and sports car in the works.

Electric cars have become increasingly the focus of many brands since the emergence of Tesla.

And buyer demand is starting to pick-up. Last year a new report by Origin energy claimed that one-third of Australians polled said they would own an electric car in the next five years.

Originally published as Ground-breaking supercar axed

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