After the i8 Coupe and the i3 hatchback, it now seems that the Spyder version of the BMW i8 might be the next to hit the showrooms. Bimmerpost claims that the i8 has gotten the necessary clearance to go in for a late 2015 production. The BMW i Series cars are selling like hot cakes, with the first year stock of the i8 Coupe getting sold out within few days of being launched and the i3 getting over 10,000 bookings even before going on sale. We can surely expect the i8 Spyder to do ‘quite well’ too.
The i8 Spyder was first hinted with Vision-Z concept in 2008 ‘for the drive technology of all future electric and plug-in hybrid cars,’ and was first shown at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2012.
The production model will look similar to the 2012 i8 Spyder Concept with production styling aspects from the Coupe. The Spyder will also share the Coupe's drivetrain and engine. The Coupe is powered by a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder TwinPower turbo engine along with an electric motor at the front mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. While the petrol engine will pump out 231bhp to the rear wheels, the electric motor (131bhp) powers the front wheels, making the Coupe an all-wheel-drive.
Performance is not sacrificed in the pursuit of efficiency with the Coupe attaining 0-100kmph in 4.4 seconds, all the while returning an average of 40kmpl. This is achieved by combining a lightweight car (1,490kgs) and an efficient, but powerful engine. The four-seater can be driven in four modes, according to the mood of the driver. Comfort mode with a 500km range on a full tank and charge for a balance of efficiency and performance; EcoPro mode for just efficiency; Sport mode if you favour performance and the eDrive which excludes the petrol engine altoghether. The car also offers state-of-art laser headlights as an option.
The only other car in the market which can compete with the i8 is Porsche’s 918 (already a Spyder), though Porsche is much more powerful and in essence, more of a sports car when compared to the i8.