This is the BMW i8 Spyder Concept that will debut at the upcoming Beijing motor show. This topless i8 comes barely a year after BMW wheeled out the i3 and i8 concepts at Frankfurt. The i8 also famously starred in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, driven by Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.
Described as an open top with genuine sports car performance, but with fuel consumption no higher than you would expect from a small car, the i8 Spyder has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length compared to the fixed-top i8.
Highlights include the upward-swivelling windowless doors and a range of purpose-oriented on-board equipment such as electric kickboards stowed under a transparent tailgate.
Based on BMW’s LifeDrive architecture, the i8 Spyder Concept is a plug-in hybrid powered by an eDrive drivetrain combining an electric motor and a petrol combustion engine.
The 131 hp electric motor on the front axle works in tandem with a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine sending 223 hp through the rear wheels.
Both units are in-house BMW developments and generate an aggregate system output of 354 hp and 550 Nm. That is enough to accelerate the car from 0-100 km/h in five seconds flat. This performance is married to super low fuel consumption of just three litres of unleaded per 100 km!
The lithium-ion battery can be fully charged from a domestic power socket in less than two hours. The pack is located in the “energy tunnel” between the front and rear axle modules to keep the car’s centre of gravity as low as possible – the i8 Spyder also features BMW’s famous 50:50 weight distribution. Fully charged, the car can travel 30 km on electric power alone.
We’ve covered the i3/i8 launch extensively – click here for the full story, gallery and various videos explaining Munich’s i sub-brand.