The i3 is officially out of production, BMW produced the 250,000th model right before the line shut down.
My favorite cars are usually a little bit weird. I love a car with a quirky and controversial design, interesting features and a unique take on EV design. So it should come as no surprise that I immediately fell in love with the BMW i3 upon its reveal in 2013, with that love exponentially growing once I got to see and drive an i3 in person. BMW's first series-production EV, the i3 features high-end carbon-fiber construction, a strange boxy exterior and an absolutely fabulous cabin with tons of space and interesting materials like wool seats and eucalyptus trim. It didn't hurt that the i3 was fantastic to drive, getting better with age as sportier variants emerged and its EV range increased. There was truly nothing else like it. Now, eight and a half years after the i3 first entered production in Leipzig, Germany, (and a year after US sales ended), the final i3 has rolled off the production line, and I'm sad as hell.

Marking the end of i3 production is a major milestone and a limited-run special edition. Just a couple of days before production ended, the 250,000th i3 rolled off the line. That car was a black i3s that doesn't seem to have anything special about it, which is kind of a shame. But BMW says this production milestone makes the i3 the most popular EV ever in the "premium compact" segment, and the i3's popularity didn't lessen as it got older. The i3 was sold in over 74 countries, achieving higher market shares in the EV segment than the rest of BMW brand in other segments, and BMW says around 80% of customers in the i3's early years were new to the brand.

Rear angle view of a matte red BMW i3 at the factory

To mark the end of production BMW built 10 units of the new HomeRun special edition, which is based on the i3S. Available in Frozen Dark Grey and Frozen Dark Red, the first time a BMW Individual matte paint had been offered on the i3, the HomeRun also gets special bronze accents on the grilles and tailgate. On the inside there's Dark Truffle leather, a leather dashboard, more bronze trim and special badges, and the HomeRun cars come fully loaded. Each one was already sold, with all 10 customers getting to watch their cars come off the production line.

Every person I know that has driven an i3 fell in love with it, and I have multiple friends that have owned multiple i3s and have no idea what to replace them with. There's not a single car on sale, in the US or otherwise, that really can compete with the i3 in terms of overall vibe and style, and that's a damn shame. But there is some hope on the horizon. Say what you will about the BMW iX's exterior styling, but its interior is a marvel. The iX is the first BMW I've sat in since the i3 that felt like a similar breath of fresh air, with a fabulous cabin full of weird and wonderful design elements, and upcoming models like the new 7 Series and XM SUV seem to capture some of the same magic. Plus, we're starting to see truly wacky, conceptlike EVs from other brands go into production, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Honda E.

So let's all pour one out for the groundbreaking BMW i3, and look forward to toasting to the next car that puts a similar twinkle in our eyes.