The i8 jump-started BMW's commitment to the electrification revolution. Picture: SUPPLIED
The i8 jump-started BMW's commitment to the electrification revolution. Picture: SUPPLIED

A few months after BMW first indicated that production of the i8 would be coming to an end sooner rather than later, the company announced last week that the plug-in hybrid sports car will be discontinued in April.

Late in 2019, BMW introduced the final iteration of the i8 electric sports car to be released before the model officially goes into retirement, the i8 Ultimate Sophisto.

Nevertheless, the car will go down in the company’s history as it helped the brand reach several milestones, one of which was joining the plug-in hybrid market and jump-starting its commitment to the electrification revolution.

Not only was the i8 the first vehicle made by the company to be outfitted with such a power train, but BMW also claims it “goes down in company history as the world's most successful sports car with electrified drive”, a title given because more than 20,000 units have been sold since the model’s launch in 2014.

Additionally, the “i8 has held a global market share of more than 50% in the segment of sports cars with electrified drive for years”, which will be true until the model is discontinued in April.

Though the i3 also premiered along with the i8 six years ago, the all-electric sedan will live on without its hybrid partner.

The i8’s exit clears the path for BMW’s upcoming line of electric vehicles including the i4 sedan, iX3 crossover and iNext crossover, while there’s also a sports car based on 2019’s Vision M Next concept expected in the next five years.

There were 25 BMW i8s sold in SA in 2019.

The final BMW i8 is scheduled to roll off the production line in mid-April.