The fabric roof may save weight but it doesn't look too comfortable in the cold.
Sneaking pictures of a preproduction test mule is an art form, and as such, positive results are always strived for but never guaranteed. That’s why our spy photographer’s previous run in with the BMW i8 Spyder managed little more than shots of the hybrid sports car’s rear end and roofless body configuration. This time around we see the i8 Spyder out testing in the snow and its drivers have wisely decided to put up the roof to insulate from the cold, a move that’s shown us that BMW went with a cloth top rather than a hard top.
This is likely a weight-saving move since the i8 is saddled with a battery, electric motors, a gasoline engine, and in this case, chassis reinforcements to help keep it rigid without a roof. Constraints like these force the engineers to go with as many weight-savings tactics as possible to keep the i8 Spyder competitive on the track. Not only can we see what the convertible’s silhouette looks like with the roof up, but we get a glimpse of the scowl on the front end. Given that the i8 Spyder is based off of the upcoming refreshed version of the i8, we can also use these images to create an image of the i8 LCI facelift. As with previous BMW LCI facelifts we’ve seen, most notably on the 4 Series, not much seems to have changed.
The most obvious difference is an air intake above the front lip that looks slightly different than what we see on current models. An aggressive stance relays dominance while the rear shoulders maintain the look even with the top down. Unlike the Pagani Huayra Roadster, we’d wager that BMW will keep the butterfly doors since these are hinged at the base of the A-Pillar. What will be different is the hardware underneath, which will be upgraded to yield an extended range and better performance. It was speculated that the i8 LCI could get carbon fiber wheels, but our eyes spot metallic pizza dishes filing the i8 Spyder’s wheel arches. For now, we can expect an unveiling to take place this fall with sales beginning sometime in 2018.