BMW's attention-grabbing i8 is the world's top-selling hybrid sports car, says the Munich maker, with 5,456 of the i8 sold globally last year.

It does not take much to be top right now, as there has been zero competition in the hybrid sports car market since the demise of the Porsche 918 in mid-2015.

The accolade coincides with the unveiling this week at the Geneva Car Show (March 13-30) of a lustrous red-painted version of the futuristic i8 with its fancy up-and-over doors.

Dubbed the "Protonic Red Edition," the vivid paint for the restricted-run i8 was created especially for the car. The i8 was seen only a few years ago in a sci-fi blue hue also dubbed protonic. The origin of the name has not been explained.

The i8 Red Edition is offset by grey metallic highlights and grey wheels. The paint scheme is carried over into the interior with contrast stitching and carbon-fibre and ceramic trim elements.

The i8s are powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to an electric drive system.

Reports said production of the Red Edition will begin in July at the Leipzig, Germany factory.

The red car is bound to cost more than the standard model, which sells from 140,000 dollars but there is no official word from BMW on the surcharge.

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