BMW Bids Farewell to the i8 with 18 One-Off Builds
The last 18 units of the BMW i8 just left BMW Group Plant Leipzig yesterday as their future owners looked on.
Each car was a one-off created in close collaboration with the customer, sporting never-seen-before features like the Austin Yellow, British Racing Green, and Le Mans Blue body paint colours that were never seen on an i8 before.
“The degree of customisation in these vehicles threw up some major logistical and process challenges,” said Plant Director Hans-Peter Kemser.
“But our i production unit has proved yet again that nothing is impossible.”
Manufacturing a BMW i8 is in itself a feat of modern automotive construction, owing to the vehicle concept, drive technology, and unique mix of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminium.
But the final 18 special models presented the i8 production team with particular challenges on top: each one was finished in a paintwork colour that had previously not been applied to the outer skin components of a BMW i8.
Painting such a large number of exterior parts in the specified colour made production and logistics far more complex.
Manufactured and painted virtually by hand by a range of suppliers and at BMW Group Plant Landshut, the challenge lay in getting the components to the production line in full premium quality.
And with each part being the only one of this colour in existence and highly complex to reproduce, the utmost care and precision were required in logistics and throughout series vehicle production.
“Yet again, we have proved our ability to meet the highly discerning standards and personal specifications of our customers with unique solutions and unparalleled skill,” said Plant Director Hans-Peter Kemser.
The final vehicles also have customised components in their interiors, such as Alcantara covers for seats and steering wheels, and special trim strips and fascia panels.
The customers in Plant Leipzig – some of whom were members of the BMW i8 Club International – were on location to see their vehicles leave the factory gates and be handed over to vehicle logistics.