What looks set to be the BMW i8 Spyder, an open top version of BMW’s i8 eco supercar, has leaked ahead of a debut at the Beijing Motor Show.
The gestation period for BMW’s i8 eco supercar started with the reveal of the BMW Vision ED Concept back in 2009, with a production concept – and the BMW i8 name – arriving last summer. And now, ahead of a debut at the Beijing Motor Show in April we get the first photos of the BMW i8 Spyder.
We did think the photo of the i8 Spyder above may be a Photoshop, but a couple of phone calls seem to confirm that this open top i8 is the real deal and will debut at Beijing.
It’s not yet clear exactly how the open top works; is it a removable panel that stows in the boot or have BMW managed something similar to Ferrari’s 458 Spyder? The i8 Spyder has lost the +2 seats in the back so we’re guessing there’s enough room for the panel to be electrically operated and stowed, but we may have to wait for Beijing to know.
What is clear is that the transparent doors of the i8 Coupe have given way to more conventional doors (we expect the final production version of the i8 to follow suit) and the back of the i8 has been redesigned with a flatter, rising line running up to a pair of humps behind driver and passenger.
Under the skin will be the same 1.5 litre range extender powertrain as the i8 coupe, offering 220bhp to the back wheels with an electric motor contributing an additional 129bhp to the front wheels, That will give the i8 – as a Coupe or Spyder – three different characters; FWD EV for in town, RWD sports car with the ability to be very frugal and all-out, supercar-close 4WD performance with everything working together to deliver M5 levels of performance.
With this leak of photos of the i8 Spyder it’s likely BMW will be stirred in to giving us something official on the Spyder very soon.
BMW i8 Concept Photo Gallery
(25 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)
BMW i8 Video
Source: Auto Forum