Before debuting as a production model at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show (2013 IAA), the BMW i8 was previewed by the BMW i8 Concept Spyder at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, an open-top BMW i8. Over a year after the market launch, the open-top version has been green-lit for production, as per a report from Handelsblatt.
According to the German publication, the company’s aggressive electrification plans with the ‘BMW i’ sub-brand includes the BMW i8 Spyder. The convertible version’s confirmation update comes straight from BMW CEO Harald Krueger. The open-top version can be expected to be launched in the near future with the same plug-in hybrid powertrain from the coupe. The battery pack may be bigger though, as per the prevailing development at the time of its launch.
The BMW i8’s eDrive plug-in hybrid powertrain consists of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that produces 170 kW (231 hp) and 320 Nm of torque, and an electric motor that produces 96 kW (129 hp) and 250 Nm of torque. The combustion engine powers the rear wheels and the electric motor drives the front wheels. The eDrive system produces 362 hp in total.
The electric motor gets its power from a 7.0 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and can drive the i8 coupe up to 37 km with zero-emissions.