BMW’s plug-in hybrid i8 coupe sees red ahead of the Geneva show

The BMW i8 was the best-selling plug-in hybrid sports coupe in the world last year. To celebrate the occasion, the Munich-based car maker will introduce a limited-edition version of the i8 called Protonic Red at the Geneva Auto Show that will open its doors next month.

As its name suggests, the Protonic Red is finished in an eye-catching shade of red that was developed specifically for the limited-edition model. Frozen gray accents add a touch of contrast to the look, and the special i8 comes standard with the 20-inch W-spoke alloy wheels that are offered at an extra cost on the regular-production i8. Inside, passengers are treated to red contrast stitching on the floor mats and on the seats, as well as black ceramic trim on the gear lever.

BMW hasn’t made any mechanical modifications, so the Protonic Red model is powered by an i8-sourced gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain made up of a 231-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine located behind the passenger compartment, and a 131-horsepower electric motor mounted over the front axle. Rated at a combined 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the drivetrain sends the i8 from zero to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph. Alternatively, if you drive with a light right foot the electric motor can power the i8 by itself for up to 22 miles, and the coupe returns 76 MPGe.

The BMW i8 Protonic Red edition will be only be available from July to December of this year, though it doesn’t sound like the coupe has been earmarked for the United States market. However, BMW explains the Protonic Red is the first of many limited-edition variants of the i8, and there’s a good chance that at least one of them will make the trip across the Atlantic.


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