The BMW i8 Concept Spyder was a roofless version of the i8 Coupe. The 2012 i8 Concept Spyder was fractionally closer to being production viable than its hardtop doppelganger, and there were a few other minor, yet important differences. Firstly it featured a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length, this actually suits the car and gives it a more sports car-like appearance – it also reduces the car to a strict two-seater, instead of the 2+2 arrangement in the coupe. And Secondly, the Coupe’s complicated glass-covered doors have been replaced with more sensible solid doors – but they still have a dramatic hinge-mechanism.
The BMW i8 Concept Spyder features a lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced architecture which provides protection for the occupants. The front and rear subframes are formed from aluminium and provide housing for the hybrid drivetrain. The i8 Spyder’s power comes from a combination of a mid-mounted 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine offering 223 horsepower, and an electric motor up front which provides an additional 131 horsepower to the front wheels. The two drive systems can work independently of each other, or in combination to provide a total output of 354 hp and allow for a 0-62 mph sprint time of 5.0 seconds and a 155 mph electronically limited top speed.
Despite its impressive performance, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder offers 78.4mpg US (94.2mpg UK) and returns a combined fuel consumption of just 3.0 litres/100km in the European test cycle. In addition, with its lithium-ion battery fully charged, the i8 Spyder concept can cover up to 19 miles (30 km) on electric power alone.
The first official outing for the BMW i8 Concept Spyder was at the 2012 Auto China Show.