The BMW i8 has been one of the most anticipated performance cars in years, both for its faithful concept-to-production design and its radical hybrid-electric powertrain that strikes an excellent balance between conservation and outright performance. Power comes from a radical turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a pair of electric motors to deliver a combined 357 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque, thanks in part to its carbon-fiber-intensive construction that keeps curb weight to a reasonable 3,360 pounds.
And while the $137,000 starting price (before options, of course) will keep it from being enjoyed by the majority of customers, one of the first-ever US-spec i8s was sold for six times the asking price. The one-off Concours d’Elegance edition was sold at the Gooding & Company auction during the annual Pebble Beach auto activities this last weekend, and in the end one buyer paid $825,000 (before fees) to bring it home. That i8 had a Frozen Grey Metallic paint job, with a special brown leather tanned with a plant-based dye, along with a laser-etched plaque, an i8 display key, and — once approved by the federal government — BMW’s laser headlights. Of course, the special edition also included the $26,000 Louis Vuitton carbon-fiber matched luggage and BMW’s first “professional” charging station thrown in as well.
Proceeds from the sale go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and the Concours d’Elegance itself.
Also, the first batch of “regular” i8′s were delivered to a long list of notables, including Roger Penske and Rick Hendrick, and various other CEOs and big-wigs.