The i8 Spyder was first revealed to us as far back as the Beijing Motor Show in 2012, but now we hear that BMW is to re-launch (so to speak) the concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in January next year.
It would have been fair to presume that the i8 Spyder, which pre-dated the i8 coupe, had played its part in the creation of that particular vehicle, but this new launch begs the question, what is BMW up to now?
Well, if you believe reports from the German published newspaper, Handelsblatt (and there’s no reason not to), then the i8 Spyder is about to become a dream roofless i8 coupe reality. The newspaper carries a quote from Harold Krueger, CEO of BMW, saying that the i8 Spyder concept will go into production soon.
What is most curious here is that CES is an electronics show – not a car show as such, which hints that the i8 Spyder concept that we will see in January 2016 will feature some impressive gadgetry and connectivity options.
We have already heard previously that the manufacturer is looking into a higher performance BMW i8, with hints that this may appear as soon as 2016, so the CES re-launch of the i8 Spyder concept could tie in with this also. It’s quite possible that BMW is looking to drastically reshape the i8 in time for the company’s centenary year.
A month after information on a higher performance vehicle hit the press, the news that BMW was also testing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell powered i8 broke. The prototype also featured a more aerodynamic profile, inspired by some intense wind tunnel testing.
So exciting times ahead for the i8 – possibly. Interestingly, depending what automotive magazine you choose to read, the i8 Spyder will either look similar to the 2012 version, or – with the benefit of the time given by three years behind closed doors – be a dramatically different vehicle.
I prefer the latter theory; there seems little point – or likelihood – that BMW will have sat on the i8 Spyder concept idea for three years then decided to put it out there again unchanged. The hydrogen fuel cell prototype, and the likely need for changes to incorporate extra technology, is reason enough to suspect this will be the case.
The i8, which was released in the UK in July 2014, stores 357 horsepower under the hood housing its electric/petrol turbo-charged hybrid engine and is capable of some nifty acceleration of just 4.4 seconds to reach 60mph.
Pricing at launch wasn’t – by any stretch of the imagination – easily affordable though, with buyers needing to bargain some extra carpets and a full tank of petrol (and electricity) into a deal which would see their wallets lighter by at least £99,845.
No news on what an open-air BMW i8 Spyder would come in at as yet of course, but I suspect that most of us will have to content ourselves with simply drooling at the car rather than owning one.
Images: ibtimes.co.uk, theverge.com, egmcartech.com
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