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Spied: Drop top BMW i8 seen for the first time

Spied: Drop top BMW i8 seen for the first time image

Anton Andres / CarPix for Autoindustriya.com | February 17, 2017 16:58

BMW prepares the i8 Spyder

Back in December 2015, it was reported that BMW is considering to build a cabriolet version of their plug-in hybrid sports car, the i8. Harald Kreuger, CEO of BMW, was quoted saying the production of this model was “not far off”.

Confirming the CEO's statement are these batch of photos sent to us by our spies. Dubbed the i8 Spyder, it becomes the first BMW I Model to have a drop top version. This is not the first time BMW played with the idea of a top-down i8. Back in 2012, the company unveiled the first i8 Spyder Concept in Beijing, and in Geneva the year after.

Seen here in what appears to be production form with light camouflage, the i8 Spyder stays close to the concept car's design revealed at CES. While photos are few, these are enough for us to give a general idea of what the car will look like once fully revealed.

Spied: Drop top BMW i8 seen for the first time

The side mirrors are bigger than the ones seen in the concept car. To adjust to the convertible design, the rear of the car gets a significant redesign. For starters, it gets a pair off buttresses where the rear windshield used to be. A wind blocker serves as the small rear windshield for the i8 Spyder.

Not seen here is the mechanism to put the roof up. It is possible that the rear section may lift up and slide the roof in place. Another possibility is a detachable roof stowed at the back, to be installed by the owner. It is also unknown if the i8 Spyder will retain the gullwing doors, as seen in the coupe.

As for its powertrain, it is likely a carryover from the hardtop model. BMW i8's are powered by a three cylinder, 1.5 liter turbocharged engine mated to an electric motor, giving it a combined output of 362 PS and 570 Nm of torque.