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Car and Driver: Open-Air Electrification: BMW to Add i8 Spyder Plug-in Hybrid

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BMW plans to launch an open-top version of its i8 hybrid sports car, CEO Harald Krüger has told the German business paper Handelsblatt. Such a model has been expected to come to market ever since BMW unveiled a concept car in April 2012. However, sales of the regular i8 have been so good that there was little need to boost the model by adding a topless variant.


The i8 Spyder, as we expect it to be called, likely will be fitted with an ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber top. Under the skin, it will use an updated version of the current i8 powertrain; we expect it to keep the 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, which could be mated to a more powerful version of the front-mounted electric motor. The battery pack may be upgraded to reach a range of more than 30 miles, not least in order to comply with China’s requirements for plug-in hybrids.


Expect more information to trickle out as we move closer to the i8 Spyder’s launch: sometime in late 2016 or 2017.


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