Want a BMW i8 on the Cheap? How About a Full-Size Replica?

With sweeping lines, upward hinging doors and the kind of performance you’d expect from any sports car, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe is a very desirable car.

And with a starting price of $135,700, it’s also a very expensive car, well outside of the price bracket of most car buyers and far more expensive than even the legendary Tesla Model S.

Want a real-looking BMW i8 for a fraction of the price of the real thing? You'll want to buy this...

Want a real-looking BMW i8 for a fraction of the price of the real thing? You’ll want to buy this… (photo: eBay)

So what if you could buy a BMW i8 from Internet auction site eBay for just a fraction of the price, and have it delivered before most of the other BMW i8 customers in the U.S? Would you be tempted?

As Jalopnik reports, there’s just such a car being sold by BMW dealer Laurel BMW of Westmont, Illinois. Sadly however, there’s a little catch: the BMW i8 in question doesn’t have an engine, battery pack or motor.

That’s because the car being sold off to the highest bidder is actually a full-size BMW i8 replica built by BMW North America in order to advertise the plug-in hybrid halo car long before it reached showrooms.

Indistinguishable from the real thing at a distance, the dummy BMW i8 replica features working headlights and tail lights but is completely hollow inside.

Even the wheels and realistic-looking brake discs aren’t what they appear: the full size-replica is moved by a set of castors tacked onto a hidden welded tubular frame.

Inside the replica, there's a small frame and tiny wheels to move it about: the car's 'wheels' don't actually turn.(Photo: eBay)

Inside the replica, there’s a small frame and tiny wheels to move it about: the car’s ‘wheels’ don’t actually turn.(Photo: eBay)

According to the dealer selling it, the dimensions of the replica BMW i8 closely match the real thing, although its weight is about 500 pounds. As a one-piece item however, the winning bidder will have to be prepared to tackle the logistics of getting it from its current location to wherever they choose to put it.

And while it won’t be useable as a car, the i8 replica is certainly good enough to pass as the real thing from a distance — perfect if you’re the kind of person who likes to pretend they’re more wealthy than they actually are, or you’re a restaurant or hotel owner looking for something a little different for your lobby.

Where do you think the replica BMW i8 should end up? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • vdiv

    Maybe make it into a functional furniture like the Model S desk… I’m thinking it would be the perfect bed frame for a kid. nnOk, maybe a bit to large for a bed frame for a small kid, but how about for not-so-grown-up kids? ;)nnSome cutting required, batteries not included, see dealer for details.

  • vdiv

    For some reason after seeing this I thought of Number Two: :)nnnnhttp://www.anyclip.com/movies/austin-powers-international-man-of-mystery/number-two/