BMW i8 Plug-in Hybrid Priced in U.S. from $135,700

The 2014 BMW i8, BMW’s first plug-in hybrid sports car, will retail from $135,700 plus mandatory $950 destination fee when it goes on sale in the U.S. later this summer.

If you want a BMW i8 and live in the U.S., you'll need at least $135,700 spare -- plus $950 destination fee.

If you want a BMW i8 and live in the U.S., you’ll need at least $135,700 spare — plus $950 destination fee.

As detailed by BMW Blog, the majority of i8 models allocated for U.S. customers will be the limited-edition Pure Impulse World trim level. Due to be produced exclusively for the 2014 and 2015 model years, the Pure Impulse World trim level adds an additional $10,800 to the base model price, and includes a choice of two different designs of 20 inch alloy wheels along with an Anthracite headliner, BMW i Blue branded seatbelt, and full perforated leather trim.

Interestingly, despite being a limited-edition variant, the Pure Impulse World trim level won’t include the much talked-about laser headlights, although LED headlights with cornering lights will be included.

With 90 per cent of U.S-bound BMW i8 models due to be the special edition trim level, the remaining 10 per cent of U.S. market cars will be finished in the mid-level Tera World package, which adds $3,000 to the i8 base model price.

If the idea of spending extra on top of the $135,700 base model price sounds like too much, you’ll have to wait for the base-model Giga trim level to be added in due course. For now, you’ll have to choose the upper trim levels if you want to be among the first i8 drivers in the U.S.

If this looks like your idea of a plug-in hybrid, you'll be able to pick one up from August in the U.S.

If this looks like your idea of a plug-in hybrid, you’ll be able to pick one up from August in the U.S.

Standard features across all trim levels include anti-theft alarm system with universal garage door opener, electrically-adjusted seats, heated front seats, park distance control, automatic climate control, automatic lights and wipers, head-up display, sat nav, HD radio with harman/Kardon speakers, satellite radio, and BMW telematics.

In keeping with BMW’s penchant for rear-wheel drivetrains, the BMW i8 comes with a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbocharged engine driving the rear wheels, while a 98 kilowatt electric motor drives the front wheels. All-electric range is supposedly 23 miles on the european test cycle from a tiny 7.1 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack — but from what we’ve seen and heard from those who have driven the performance-oriented sports car — all-electric range won’t be the preferred mode of operation for most drivers.

At $135,700 however, we don’t think many drivers will worry about that particular problem. Like the XL1 from Volkswagen we talked about earlier this week, expect the BMW i8 to be more of a collector’s car than something you’ll see doing the daily commute.

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  • Michael Thwaite

    Having seen this is the carbon, I thought this was a stunning design, a real re-start for automative design and a shape I’d happily give up my Tesla Roadster for but, it’s a shame about the weird drivetrain choice and lackluster performance, especially at the price. I think that it’ll be more of a long-distance tourer than a sports car. It really looks like it aught to go fast though.

  • Dennis Pascual

    Not too many of these will sell at MSRP. My local BMW dealer has already stated that with their measly allocation that they will more than likely be asking (and getting) $100k over MSRP.nnnToo rich for my blood… (that and the short EV range gets me to reject it.)nnnIt is a stunning looking vehicle though

  • Guest

    “With 90 per cent of U.S-bound BMW i8 models due to be the special edition trim level…”

    • Matt Beard

      Odd – I posted this as me, but it came up as “Guest”

  • D. Harrower

    Sorry, but I find it hard to get excited about a car that is inferior to the Model S in almost every way (performance, efficiency, price, interior room). Arguably the i8 has the advantage in styling, but that makes it no more compelling to me than other massively-overpriced “collector’s pieces” like Ferraris or Bentleys.