Still think that hybrids are boring and uninspired rides suitable for save-the-planet eco-geeks only? BMW may have you rethinking that with the reveal of its latest BMW i concept, the i8 Spyder. Like the i8 Coupe, the Spyder blends battery power with a fuel-efficient gasoline engine that serves as a generator. In battery mode, the i8 Spyder has a modest range of just 19 miles, however, like the Chevy Volt or the Fisker Karma, it can keep going as long as there’s gas in the tank.
While hybrids usually have a weight penalty thanks to redundant drivetrains, the i8 Spyder uses lightweight materials throughout to counter this. Better yet, weight distribution is an ideal 50:50 split for superior handling.
Like the i8 Coupe, the i8 Spyder can be driven in front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, as conditions dictate. While acceleration isn’t up to supercar standards, the i8’s 0-62 mph time of five seconds is certainly enough to keep the car entertaining, and it’s electronically governed to a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
More than just a Coupe with its roof hacked off, the Spyder features unique upward pivoting doors and rides on a slightly shorter wheelbase than the Coupe. It has a shorter overall length, too, enhancing the athletic look of the topless i8.
Inside, expect plenty of connectivity and infotainment options, including CarFinder (which transmits the exact location of your 18 to your smartphone), a charge point locator, route planning that factors in available public parking and even “Last Mile Navigation,” which sends precise walking directions to your smartphone after you park the car.