The final BMW i8 rolled off the assembly line in June this year, but the plug-in hybrid sports car lives on as a limited-run coachbuilt sports car.
Not that you’d be able to recognize it, but the retro-styled Taraschi Berardo is actually based on a BMW i8. If you haven’t heard of Taraschi yet, it’s because the Italian brand is a fresh revival of the competition car manufacturer founded by racing driver Berardo Taraschi in 1947.
Named after the company founder, Taraschi Berardo is a limited-run two-seat coupe that features a hand-built aluminum body on top of a BMW i8 chassis and powertrain.
As you can see, the coachbuilt sports car looks nothing like the futuristic i8, with its lines taking inspiration from the 1953 Giaur 750 Sport Champion, one of Taraschi’s most successful models. Only those with a keen eye for detail will notice that the Berardo carries over the greenhouse and the butterfly doors from the BMW i8.
The coachbuilt sports car is some 300-mm (12-in) longer than the donor vehicle, and most of that increase is found in the longer rear overhang. The front and rear ends are completely different, as is the lavish interior which features an abundance of brown and cream leather, as well as wood trim. Come to think of it, the center console looks more like a piece of classic furniture than a functional car interior element.
We don’t know yet how many Taraschi Berardos will be made and how much will one cost. We do know that the standard model packs 420 PS (414 HP / 309 kW), a healthy upgrade over the stock BMW i8’s combined output of 374 PS (369 HP). The Berardo is said to sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph).
The manufacturer also promises 470 PS (463 HP) and 520 PS (513 HP) variants, which should unlock even more performance from the three-cylinder turbocharged three-pot and electric motor.