Latest BMW i8 Spyder concept may come to production


The world of automobiles just has gotten a bit more futuristic, and no other than the new BMW i8 Spyder. At a glance of this new car, you thought that it came out of the “Back to Future” movie, but that wasn’t it. This is the latest BMW’s “i” version among the i3 and i5 models.

We have seen about few roadster versions of the BMW i-model, but this latest version may hint a production model of the BMW i8 Spyder is coming to a near. Given the similarity of the i8 Spyder to the BMW i8 Coupe, we may see the production model in the near future.

If produced, the BMW i8 Spyder will be strictly a two-seater with a shorter wheelbase and overall length than the i8 Coupe. Body structure wise, it is based mostly on lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic for the outer panels. Although BMW might forgo the butterfly-wing doors, and opt for a pair convention doors instead. One bit of information that we haven’t got from BMW is the top cover for the i8 Spyder to keep the elements out.

For the powertrain of the BMW i8 Spyder, we can safely assume that it will share the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the i8 Coupe, with a rear-mounted engine as we can see in one of the pictures above. The plug-in hybrid powertain consists of a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine producing 220 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque for the rear wheels, and an electric motor producing another 129-hp for the front wheels. According to BMW, the two power sources can work independently to drive each own axle or together to provide a combined power output of 349-hp and and 406 lb-ft of torque.

As for the performance numbers, the BMW i8 Spyder with its hybrid power can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.0 seconds (4.6 seconds for the BMW i8 Coupe) and with a governed top speed of 155 mph. Being a hybrid, the BMW i8 Spyder is not too shabby in the fuel economy department either. BMW claims that the two-seater has an estimated fuel economy rating of 3.0lt/100km in European cycle, which is an equivalent of 78.4 mpg on U.S. cycle.

At this point, BMW hasn’t confirmed the decision to produce this ultra-modern hybrid car yet, but we’ll soon to know when the BMW i8 Spyder debuts at the 2012 China Auto Show in late April.