Eager to get in on the Spyder trend (Audi, Porsche, and Mazda all have similarly named cars) luxury automobile manufacturer BMW has announced a concept vehicle called the i8 Concept Spyder. The new vehicle is very similar to the i8 concept vehicle we covered last summer and noted was part of the marketing behind the movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but slightly different in some key features.
The BMW i8 Concept Spyder is a bit smaller than the i8 it shares so much in common with, a two-seater plug-in hybrid vehicle with an open top and upward-swivel, windowless doors. Made with carbon-fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum components, the new BMW concept is meant to be a lightweight sports model (for an electric car that is, the model still tops 3,5000 pounds) that mimics the fuel efficiency of a small car.
Fitted with the company’s eDrive system comprised of a front-axle electric motor and a back-axle gasoline motor, the i8 Concept Spyder employs a system much like the other models in the luxury line. Propelled by a front-axle 96 kilowatt electric motor and a back-axle turbo-charged, three cylinder, 233 horsepower motor, the car can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just five seconds. While it might technically be able to go faster, the car is electronically capped to a top speed of 155 mph.
The combined electric and gasoline system gives the i8 Concept Spyder an estimated fuel economy of 94 miles per gallon. The lithium-ion battery, situated in the center of the car to give the vehicle a 50:50 weight distribution, can be charged from a standard wall outlet in two hours and allows the car to travel up to 19 miles in pure electric-mode.