Think Pebble Beach auctions and you automatically think classic cars, chrome and competition history. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Amongst the lots in the Gooding & Company auction will be the newest supercar (if we can call it that… has anyone decided yet?) going, the BMW i8. It will be among the first on sale in the States ahead of the launch in the Autumn, but it needs to be more than just first to earn its place in the Pebble Beach auction.
Catchily dubbed the Concours d’Elegance Edition, it has a special colour scheme – Frozen Grey Metallicpaint on the inside, Dalbergia Brown leather on the inside. Both exterior and interior also carry blue highlights, presumably to illustrate the car’s green credentials. (When did car manufacturers decide that blue means green to signify an eco-friendly car? BlueMotion, BlueTec… they’re all at it).
Anyway, the Concours d’Elegance Edition (that name doesn’t get any less of a mouthful) is not all about being blue and grey and brown. It also has gadgets to get the bidders excited. It will be the first car in the US to have laser headlights (just as long as the law-makers allow it), comes with a charging station for the owner’s home and tailor-made Luis Vuitton luggage for the owner’s… er, luggage.
It also has Concours d’Elegance Edition (that’s the last time I’m typing that in full) etched into the sills and a plaque bearing the signatures of key BMW executives. The owner will probably get bored with explaining who the signatures belong to before they get bored with saying Concours d’Etc.
The US retail price for a standard i8 is set at $135,295, while the Cd’EE has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000 with no reserve. If it goes for the lower estimate, a $15k premium for a factory-sanctioned one-off doesn’t sound unreasonable… It’ll be interesting to see how it fares in an auction room full of historically significant classics.