Looks like BMW is gearing up to reveal the long-awaited i8 Spyder this year.
It’s not exactly a secret that a BMW i8 Spyder is on the cards. In fact, a concept of the drop-top i8 hybrid was first shown way back in 2012 before BMW gave it the green light for production three years later. Since then, the automaker has confirmed that the i8 Spyder will be arriving at some point in 2018, but details have been scarce. Spy photos have shown test mules out in the wild before, but a new video shows what is clearly a camouflaged BMW i8 Spyder being tested at the Nurburgring, giving us our best look yet at the flagship hybrid convertible.
Curiously, BMW chose to unleash the seductive Spyder onto the Green Hell during tourist hours when the track is open to everyone instead of normal work hours where it would be less likely to be spotted by the public, suggesting that an official reveal could be imminent.
Judging from the video, the Spyder’s styling won’t deviate too much from its hardtop sibling, aside from the fabric roof and some aggressive humps in the rear to accommodate the folding roof mechanisms. You imagine the mechanics to be quite complex, considering the rear of the car also houses the engine, electric motor and battery. We know the BMW i8 Spyder will be fitted with the same three-cylinder engine as the standard car, which produces 231 hp along with a 131-hp electric motor to give a total power output of 362 hp. In the high-tech hardtop, this allows the hybrid to hit 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 155 mph.
BMW has allegedly bumped up the power of the convertible to 400 hp to make up for the extra weight, and the Spyder sounds suitably aggressive in the video. You can also expect the i8 Spyder to feature an upgraded transmission, as well as an improved range and chassis. Potentially, this could be one of the better-looking BMWs in the line-up against the likes of the photogenic Pagani Huayra Roadster, and dropping the top should further enhance the driving experience of the i8 which is already rewarding to drive. Production is set to start next year, so it seems likely that BMW will debut the i8 Spyder later this year, possibly at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.