BMW i8 Concept Spyder

Following on from its its i3 and i8 Concepts, BMW has released details of a third model to its i model range, the i8 Concept Spyder.

As with the Coupe, the i8 Concept Spyder is a plug-in hybrid that utilizes two separate power sources. Driving the rear wheels is a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol unit which develops 164 kW (223 hp) and 300 Nm of torque, while at the front a lithium-ion battery – which takes just 1.45 hours for a full charge – supplies electricity to a 96 kW (131 hp) motor allowing a range of 27-30 km (17 – 19 miles) on its own. With the two powerplants combined, the Spyder can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), and that’s from a car capable of consuming a mere 3 l/100km (94 mpg imp) in the European test cycle. A major contributor to those figures is the use of lightweight materials; with a passenger cell constructed from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and drive modules made predominantly from aluminium, this open-topped machine tips the scales at just 1630 kg – not much more than the current 3 Series.

Apart from the obvious lack of a roof, the low-slung Spyder is near identical to its hard-topped sibling, with its most striking feature being those upward-swivelling, windowless doors. A notable feature is the fact that remote functions can be accessed via the owner’s smartphone. Basically, this allows owners to set the operating temperature of the interior before they reach their car, locate it in a large car park or transfer a route so the smartphone can give directions once the driver becomes a pedestrian. Eerily, it can access your diary (like a four-wheeled, obsessive partner) and, when plugged into a power socket, ensure that you have a full charge so you won’t miss your appointment.

[Source: BMW]

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