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BMW Preparing i8 Spyder?

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On: Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 7:09AM | By: Carl Malek

BMW Preparing i8 Spyder?

BMW's i8 supercar has certainly done an excellent job in serving as a rolling technological showcase for the brand's new i8 lineup of fuel efficient vehicles. However, if a new report is to be believed, the Bavarian company is putting the final touches on a droptop Spyder version that could make its debut at an auto show in the near future.

In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, BMW CEO Harald Krueger confirmed the existence of the i8 convertible, and that it would make its debut in the very near future. The car—tentatively known as the i8 Spyder—would allow the brand to target buyers that crave open-top motoring in their fuel-efficient purchase, especially in coastal areas where convertibles are a popular choice. It would also be virtually identical to the i8 Concept Spyder that made its debut in the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. Being a vehicle that was designed for fuel efficiency versus outright performance, it will arrive with removable roof panels instead of a more conventional power-operated retractable softtop.

The i8 is also not expected to undergo any major mechanical modifications on its transformation from a sleek two-door coupe to an open-top roadster. Performance hardware, for example, will largely be carried over from the standard i8, which means the familiar 231-horsepower 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine sees duty, along with the front axle-mounted 131-horsepower electric motor. A lithium-ion battery pack helps keep the combined power sources running while allowing the i8 to travel short distances on electric power alone. The Spyder would also have roughly the same performance numbers as the i8 coupe with the sprint to 62 mph taking place in a brisk 4.4 seconds before it reaches its electronically governed 155 mph top speed.

Krueger did not elaborate further on an exact time frame for the Spyder's arrival, but his statements could mean that the company plans to introduce the model as part of its centennial celebrations. If that is indeed the case, look for it to go on sale later next year as a 2017 model with an autoshow debut taking place either later this year or the middle of next year. Pricing has not been released, but it would carry a sizable premium over its fixed-roof counterpart which starts out at $140,700 before incentives are factored in. That said, I expect the pricing to be a tick over $150,000 before incentives and other programs are factored in, which would make it the most expensive member of the BMW lineup.


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