The Beijing Auto Show got the first look at the BMW i8 Spyder in the flesh. The i8, BMW's stunning mid-engine, plug-in hybrid sports car, is scheduled to debut in 2014, with the convertible following in 2016.
Big mission to consider
The “i” series is something BMW has been working on in order to get some “green” automobiles on the road. BMW publicized last year that there were two vehicles being worked on specifically. There was the i8 and the i3. The i3 was a compact electric city car, and the i8 was a sports vehicle that was a plug-in hybrid. The look of the i8 will get it sold pretty quickly.
A mid-mounted 223-horsepower turbocharged three-cylinder motor for the back wheels with a 131 horsepower electric motor will be found in the i8 for the front wheels. It can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in five seconds flat. The automobile has a total of 354 horsepower.
Then there was the i8 Spyder. This was the convertible edition of the vehicle that was at first only released in sketches. Now, you can see it live at the Beijing Auto Show, according to USA Today.
Now in eDrive
The i8 Spyder shown in Beijing, according to MotorAuthority, had a badge on the car reading “eDrive.” Previously, BMW’s electric 1 series also was designated eDrive, which BMW says is going to be the designation for any of its vehicles which employ electric drive-train technology, whether an electric automobile or plug-in hybrid.
There will be a rear seat in the back of the coupe version of the i8, but the Spyder will be a roadster, according to AutoCar. AutoCar also reports that it will have a targa top with carbon fiber panels that can be removed. There is a storage compartment for the roof panels in the indentation on the rear motor cover. It is not known what type of removal roof it will be.
The i8 is going to enter production sometime in 2013 and will go on sale in early 2014. The i8 Spyder will follow two years later.
The i8 is anticipated to have a 3,200 pound weight, which is very light considering it is a hybrid, according to MotorAuthority. Both the i8 and i8 Spyder will have a top speed of 155 mph limit on them.
The all-electric range is projected to be 20 miles, at which point the gas motor will kick in. Gasoline mileage is not determined but, according to AutoCar, it might be up to 94 miles per gallon. Drivers will be able to select electric and fuel drive at the same time, giving the car all-wheel-drive.
However, it is also likely to be very costly, at a cost of at least $150,000.