BMW i8 Spyder Offers Engineers Major Challenges
With the official debut of the 2015 BMW i8 at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show a few weeks ago, we knew it was only a matter of time before a drop-top version of the hybrid sports car made an appearance. However, it still might be a ways off as BMW officials told Autocar that the i8 Spyder is causing the engineers "major challenges." The BMW i8 has been constructed almost entirely out of plastic that has been reinforced with carbon fiber, making it difficult for the engineers to create a rigid structure that would be suitable for a convertible model. The 2015 BMW i8 comes powered by two electric motors and a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that, when combined with the car's relatively low weight, should make it a relative rocket ship among plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles. Because of the many challenges this has presented, a BMW spokesman went on the record to confirm that there is "no set time frame" for when the i8 Spyder would be entering the market. However, we were previously told that the i8 Spyder would closely follow the launch of the i8 coupe. It seems that BMW may have jumped the gun when giving a target launch date for the i8 Spyder back when the coupe concept debuted at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. There, the automaker made the announcement that the convertible version would enter production by late 2015, but it seems the challenges faced by the engineers are enough to push that timeframe back. If a solution can't be conceived relatively quickly, we won't expect to see the i8 Spyder until 2016 at a cost that should exceed the $136,000 i8 coupe's by a sizable margin. Source: Autocar UK
The front-drive strategy for BMW has shifted slightly, and now we have photographic proof.