Presenting the new BMW i8 Concept Spyder
BMW i presents the i8 Concept Spyder, the third debut from BMW's future mobility sub-brand following the i3 Concept and the i8 Concept.
The i8 Concept Spyder represents a vision of the future where intelligent thinking, advanced materials and innovative construction techniques fuse together to create a high performance roadster that is outstandingly efficient and environmentally aware. In effect, the i8 Concept Spyder possesses the performance of a sports car with the consumption of a city car.
Although closely related to the original i8 Concept, the new i8 Concept Spyder is strictly a two-seater, with a shorter wheelbase and new, upward swivelling, windowless doors. It also features a fresh interpretation of the i8's interior design, and additional on-board equipment including a pair of electric scooters, housed under a transparent tailgate.
Underneath the athletic and futuristic exterior skin, the i8 Concept Spyder is as advanced as its Coupé relation, built, once again, around the innovative LifeDrive architecture and underpinned by lightweight, modular construction.
The i8 Concept Spyder uses the modular LifeDrive architecture as developed by BMW i, joining together the various independent functional units of the vehicle in the most efficient way possible. The Spyder's occupants sit in a very light but immensely strong carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) cell, while the various Drive modules (mainly constructed from aluminium components) are those of an operational nature – powertrain, chassis and the safety structures. So successful is this approach that the additional weight of the high-output Hybrid drivetrain has been completely cancelled out.
A further example of the LifeDrive concept is the housing of the car's lithium ion batteries in an 'energy tunnel' that joins the front and rear axles, thereby maintaining a low centre of gravity and ensuring BMW's trademark 50:50 weight distribution.
The bold, futuristic design of the i8 Concept Spyder perfectly illustrates the dynamic and lightweight character of the vehicle, with its traditionally sporty proportions of a wide but low body, minimal overhangs and an aggressive stance. Large body panels and distinctive aerodynamic elements such as the spoiler lips, Air Curtains and aero flaps are as functional as they are visually expressive.
The new upward-opening doors pivot forward around the axis of the A-pillar, giving the i8 Concept Spyder a particularly distinctive appearance with them open. A two-section roof is planned for when the weather is less favourable.
BMW i is founded on the principles of inspiring design, purpose-built solutions and sustainability.