The German marque's unique hybrid sports car was the first of its kind.
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As BMW begins to roll out more electrified models as part of an ambitious electric strategy, it is also now preparing to say goodbye to one that helped start it all – the BMW i8.

The i8 plug-in hybrid electric sports car premiered at the German International motor show in 2013 alongside the i3 as an exercise in design and function, in many ways blazing the trail for future electric models that would wear the BMW roundel.

Mating a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels and an electric engine driving the front, the i8 produced a total output of 266kW and 570Nm. Carbon fibre and aluminium were used to keep weight down – the i8 tipping the scales at 1485kg.

Available in a coupe and roadster body, the i8 was BMW’s first attempt at an electrified sports car and proved to be popular following its 2014 release. So popular, in fact, that over 20,000 i8s were sold over its production run, earning the model the title of world’s highest-selling sports car with an electrified drive system.

BMW Australia took delivery of the i8 in 2014, however local sales only contributed 155 to the global figures.

"The i8 was never intended to be a big volume seller for BMW Group," BMW Australia told CarAdvice. "It was BMW Group’s first plug-in hybrid model and the world’s first dynamic sports car with an electrified drive system.

"[The i8] laid a foundation for the BMW Group’s broad range of plug-in hybrid models."

Production of the BMW i8 will come to an end in April of this year, with the last 200 of the model built at the Leipzig plant to be limited Ultimate Sophisto Editions.

According to BMW Australia, there is still limited i8 stock in the country and there has been interest in the remaining cars.

BMW will continue on with its hybrid and electric stable, including the iNext, i1, ix3, i4, i6 and a spied i7.