And it looks exactly like you'd expect.
It was in April 2012 when BMW introduced the i8 Concept Spyder as a way to tell the whole world about its plans to chop off the roof of its plug-in hybrid sports car. To refresh our memory about its intentions of doing a droptop i8, BMW revealed at last year’s CES the tech-laden i8 Vision Future Interaction concept pictured below. Now, the car has been spotted testing in prototype guise and unsurprisingly it was carrying an extensive amount of camouflage.
The reason why these spy shots are not of the highest quality is because they were taken on the go with a mobile phone. Nevertheless, we now finally have solid proof an i8 Spyder is on its way as per BMW’s promise to have it ready for a 2018 launch and it is believed it’s going to eschew the “Spyder” suffix in favor of “Roadster.”
Taking into account the i8 Coupe facelift due later in the year will come with a power boost, expect the roofless version to get the stronger hardware from day one. Rumor has it the combined output of the hybrid system will grow by 15 horsepower (11 kilowatts), so that should give the i8 a total of 372 hp (277 kW).
Not only that, but the refreshed fixed roof model will supposedly get a 10-kWh battery pack from the Formula E safety car to replace the current 7.1-kWh battery. Needless to say, that’ll bring a significant range hike.
Besides extra hybrid punch and a larger battery, the i8 Coupe will go through some chassis tweaks by receiving further optimized upper wishbones and mounting points, along with revised dampers and suspension springs. The i8 Spyder/Roadster will likely take advantage of all these modifications right away and will also get some extra reinforcements to compensate for the roof loss.
Speaking of the roof, it’s the only piece of the puzzle that’s missing right now, but hopefully the secret will be out in the months to come via better spy shots.