Both a BMW i3 and an i8 have been on display outside the Vancouver BMW Store for many seasons now. They have accumulated crud and bird droppings, and been gently washed over the long expanse of time. People have tried to buy these units on multiple occasions, but they’re not for sale.

In fact, they’re not even real!

Upon closer inspection, the hoax is revealed. Both vehicles are detailed composite shells with rubber tires. What appears to be tinted windshields from afar are solid sheets of composite; nothing to be seen inside the vehicles.

Despite driving past this pair of imposters on a daily basis, I never doubted their authenticity until a friend, desperate to buy an i8, tried to circumvent a waiting list by settling on the display unit. Duped, and obviously not one for the poker table, he begrudgingly joined long line of expectant owners awaiting the real deal.

Displaying this duo of deceivers clearly attracts customers. Just how cheated prospective buyers feel when the jig is up is a conundrum worth considering. Frankly, I’d be choked. How about you?

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About The Author

Rob Rothwell has been involved in automotive journalism since 2002, writing for multiple online and print publications. He lives on the West Coast and is a member of the AJAC (Automotive Journalist Association of Canada). Rob’s passions include long drives on country roads in his convertible sports car, as well as cycling, skiing, kayaking, and sailing. Rob can often be found at the beach with his classic 80s Rainbow Laser, or tinkering in his workshop on his latest project.

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