Taking a page from Henry Ford's playbook, the only interior you can currently order is a "Spice Grey" leather interior...part of the also mandatory $10,800.00 "Pure Impulse" package.
According to a memo about allocations, they plan for a 90/10 split between the PI package and the "Tera" package which includes a brown interior. At the time of writing this, they are likely to get that 90% uptake because it's currently the only way you can enter an i8 order into the system. The "Giga World" interior trim ($2,000) gives you a choice of black or white leather interiors, but doesn't appear in the system. The "Tera World" interior trim ($3,000) is in the system but is currently un-selectable (and will likely remain that way until the 90% PI orders are locked in). So for all intents and purposes, the base MSRP of the BMW i8 is $146,500 (still less than a fully loaded M6 GC).
The wording of the documentation out of BMW also suggests that if you want an i8 in the first two years of production, there's a 90% chance your interior color is already decided. To their credit, the "base price" does include HUD, Active Cruise, "Pro" Nav, Upgraded HK Stereo, etc. that are optional on every other BMW.
Forcing a $10.8k trim package with one interior color is probably a way to honor the $135,700 price they announced at the unveiling last year while reducing costs via economy of scale. Because, while it is by no means a cheap car, the BMW i8 is significantly cheaper to purchase in the US. The same package in Germany costs 20,200€ or $27,500 at current exchange rates meaning we essentially get the same car for $50k less including the US standard features they pay extra for.
What else does the extra $7k you pay get you?
- Embossed "i8" symbols in the headrests
- Blue BMW "i" Seatbelts
- Gear knob in zirconium oxide (black) ceramic
- Black mats with leather piping and blue stitching
- Trunk/engine Cover in black leather
- Laser engraved door sill
- Black painted calipers with "BMW i" text
- BMW i Pure Impulse (club) card for the "Pure Impulse Experience Program"
The BMW i8 has some nice tech and stunning body work...just don't expect a lot of interior variety for the first couple of years. I personally would rather have a black interior and $7k in my pocket but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to cars that already have lines of 10+ people at dealerships that are getting 1-3 cars the first year. In a strange twist, deliveries that begin in late August will be 2014 model year cars with a changeover to 2015 at an undisclosed point during the fall/winter.
That said, I haven't been this excited for a car launch in a long time.