bmw i8 concept

Reports that the BMW i8 would be a popular plug-in vehicle have been circulating since stories claiming 'sold out' status circulated late last year. Those turned out not to be entirely true, but now that deliveries have actually started, the $160,000 EV is proving to be only available to the patient in posh English shops.

The Telegraph reports that there is a 10-month waiting period for the i8 in the UK, where one dealer (Park Lane in London's Mayfair) has managed to convince 170 people to place an order. Well, maybe convince isn't the right word. The store's sales manager told The Telegraph, "We've had numerous people asking to buy the display car. Many have said to me: name your price." Many locals want the car to avoid paying the expensive London congestion charge.

The i8 uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine and a 96-kilowatt electric motor to move from 9 to 60 miles per hour in only 4.2 seconds. The plug-in powertrain is good for 357 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The plugged portion gives the i8 an EV range of up to 22 miles.

The first i8 in the US is going to be auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Weekend next weekend.