(from BMW Press
Release) BMW i8 Concept Spyder. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder with
eDrive is an open-top two-seater embodying a form of personal
mobility with equal sporting and emotional appeal.
Under the banner of its sub-brand BMW i, the BMW Group is developing
a range of purpose-built vehicle concepts and complementary mobility
services which meet the changing needs of customers and redefine the
understanding of personal mobility. As well as adopting intelligent
technologies and innovative design, BMW i is pursuing an
all-embracing approach defined to a significant degree by
sustainability throughout the value chain.
presentation of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept, the BMW Group
introduces the BMW i8 Concept Spyder to the mix. This third BMW i
model embodies the future of cutting-edge and emotionally appealing
mobility concepts. Its sporting design headlines the qualities of an
open-top two-seater blending lightness, dynamic capability and
efficiency with a very special aesthetic allure.
The combination of intelligent lightweight design and
state-of-the-art hybrid technology imbues the BMW i8 Concept Spyder
with genuine sports car performance, yet its fuel consumption is no
higher than you would expect from a small car.
Among the most
eye-catching features of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder are the upward-swivelling,
windowless doors and a range of purpose-oriented on-board equipment
including electric kickboards stowed under a transparent tailgate.
The sports car is based around the innovative LifeDrive
architecture, itself underpinned by a lightweight modular
construction and the use of high-quality high-tech materials. The
BMW i8 Concept Spyder is a plug-in hybrid powered by an eDrive
drivetrain combining a high-performance electric motor and petrol
combustion engine. The lithium-ion battery supplying the motor with
power can be recharged in an extremely short space of time from any
domestic power socket. Together, the car’s minimised weight, low
centre of gravity and finely judged balance, coupled with a combined
system output of up to 260 kW (354 hp), promise unbeatable dynamic
capability, exceptional efficiency and unbridled driving pleasure.
Barely a year after the unveiling of the 2+2-seater BMW i8 Concept,
BMW i is presenting the second variant of this innovative hybrid
sports car, a machine designed to light up the path to compelling
and purpose-oriented mobility. Like its Coupe sibling, the
emotionally charged BMW i8 Concept Spyder combines intelligent
lightweight design with the leading-edge drivetrain technology
eDrive, while its open-top two-seater construction delivers an even
more intense driving experience. This is a car in which outstanding
performance potential goes hand-in-hand with extremely low fuel
consumption and emissions.
Compared with the Coupe
variant of the BMW i8 Concept, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder has a
slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length. With its compact
dimensions and distinctive exterior paintwork, the sports car exudes
a feeling of dynamism before it so much as turns a wheel, while
striking features of its design include upward-swivelling,
windowless doors and a transparent glass panel at the rear.
Underneath this cover two electric kickboards are stowed, providing
a visual showcase for the fun factor in mobility and adding another
layer to the car’s recreational appeal. Inside, a revised material
and colour concept provides an extra dose of sportiness. Like the
Coupe, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder with eDrive is a high-performance
plug-in hybrid, and it fuses the specific advantages of an electric
motor and combustion engine to optimum effect. Exceptional
efficiency and dynamic capability are the upshot.
architecture offers a preview of the future. Like the Coupe, the BMW
i8 Concept Spyder is also built around the innovative LifeDrive
architecture, a fusion of independent functional units. For example,
the carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) Life module gives the car
an extremely lightweight passenger cell, while the Drive modules –
made primarily from aluminium components – bring together all the
car’s operational driving functions, such as the powertrain, chassis
and safety structure. Impressively extensive use of high-tech
materials allows this innovative concept to chart new territory in
terms of weight minimisation, structural rigidity and crash safety.
This is good news not only for the car’s dynamic performance, but
also for its range and fuel economy. Intelligent lightweight design,
encompassing the use of innovative materials, has allowed the
unavoidable additional weight of the high-output hybrid drivetrain
to be cancelled out in full. Plus, the LifeDrive architecture has
been carefully adapted to the sports car character of the BMW i8
Concept Spyder. The front and rear axle modules are connected by an
“energy tunnel”, which houses the hybrid battery. This allows the
engineers to give the car a low centre of gravity and ideal balance.
The distinctive two-way
split of the LifeDrive concept is also reflected in the car’s
design, which renders the basic elements of the body clearly
distinguishable. Expressive surfaces and precise lines create a
harmonious transition from one module into another. This overlap and
interlocking of surfaces and lines – “layering” in BMW i speak – is
displayed both on the body and in the interior of the new car.
Latest interpretation of
the BMW i design language. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder’s emotion-led
design vividly spotlights the car’s qualities, with lightness,
dynamic capability and efficiency highlighted to particularly
prominent effect. For example, the two-seater embodies the perfect
synthesis of technology and aesthetic appeal, and exudes unbridled
driving pleasure even when stationary. Key to creating this
impression of sporty dynamics are large body panels, a hunkered-down
stance and numerous aerodynamic elements such as contact surfaces,
spoiler lips, AirCurtains and aeroflaps. These features
substantially reduce the hybrid car’s Cd and enhance both efficiency
Dynamic front end.
The front end offers a particularly revealing window into the
open-top two-seater’s dynamic talent. One defining element is the
headlights with pioneering laser light technology, which follow the
hallmark BMW i U-shaped design template. A semi-transparent “V”
opens out from the front end of the flat bonnet towards the
windscreen and beckons the eye to the electric motor below. A
spoiler lip positioned on the windscreen frame guides the airflow
over the heads of the passengers. And for journeys when the weather
cannot quite be trusted, the planned two-section folding roof might
well come in handy.
Athletic silhouette. Short front and rear overhangs and a
low-slung silhouette define the side view of the BMW i8 Concept
Spyder and underline its athletic character. Alluring lines and
forms generate a strong forward-surging stance even before the car
powers off the line. The doors, which open by pivoting forwards
around the A-pillar axis, further enhance the BMW i8 Concept
Spyder’s emotional impact. Below the doors, the side skirts create a
powerful wedge shape which opens out towards the rear. At the same
time, the open-top two-seater cuts a light and flowing figure and
appears as if carved from a single mould.
Like the front end, the rear also sits low to the road. Its headline
feature is a transparent cover revealing the two folded electric
kickboards accommodated below. Adopting the hallmarks of BMW i
design, the kickboards are perfect for relaxed cruising along
promenades and paths or around city squares. There can be few more
attractive advertisements for individual mobility. A visually
imposing rear diffuser, three-dimensional air outlets and the
U-shaped rear lights give the BMW i8 Concept Spyder an extremely
wide appearance and emphasise its sporting credentials.
aesthetics: layering in the interior. The interior of the BMW i8
Concept Spyder is defined by three levels showcasing its various
functions. As with the car’s body, the interlocking of surfaces and
lines is also one of the stand-out features of the interior design.
The outer layer frames the supporting structure, while the inner
“comfort” layer comprises seat surfaces and stowage compartments.
The cockpit fills the third “technical” layer, bringing together the
instrument panel, steering column and steering wheel with the
instrument cluster, central information display and control
elements. The prominent driver focus of the cockpit and the low
seating position, which adds further depth to the open-top
two-seater’s credibility, are particularly eye-catching. All the
controls are in just the right position and, like the other
functional components of the interior, designed to further enliven
the driving experience. An 8.8-inch (22.4 cm) screen displays all
the relevant driving information in three-dimensional,
The colour and materials
concept also provides some stand-out touches. The Spyder’s interior
is defined by a mixture of plastic, carbon and leather, with the
off-white of the outer layer and the bold orange tone of the
naturally tanned leather generating a sporting atmosphere rich in
contrast. The cockpit and centre console also show slight
modifications over the Coupe. The overall effect of the interior is
one of quality, purity and emotional appeal.
the perfect alliance of dynamic capability and efficiency. Like the
Coupe, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder with eDrive is a plug-in hybrid
combining two different power sources and employing the specific
advantages of its electric motor and combustion engine to optimum
effect. The hybrid drivetrain’s key components gel together with
outstanding smoothness, allowing it to offer peerless dynamic
capability and maximum efficiency. In other words, the open-top
two-seater produces the performance of an out-and-out sports machine
yet posts the fuel economy of a small car.
The 96 kW (131 hp)
electric motor on the front axle works in tandem with a turbocharged
three-cylinder petrol engine sending 164 kW (223 hp) through the
rear wheels. Both units are in-house BMW Group developments and
generate an aggregate system output of 260 kW (354 hp) and peak
torque of 550 Newton metres. That is enough to accelerate the BMW i8
Concept Spyder from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in five seconds on the
way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
Despite this performance, the two-seater burns just three litres of
petrol per 100 kilometres (equivalent to fuel economy of 94 mpg imp)
in the European test cycle.
The electric motor
sources its energy from a lithium-ion battery which can be fully
charged from a domestic power socket in less than two hours. The
high-output battery is located in the energy tunnel between the
front and rear axle modules in order to keep the car’s centre of
gravity as low as possible – and therefore to maximise the car’s
dynamic performance. The space-saving and well-balanced packaging of
this and other drive and chassis components gives the sporting
two-seater ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
With its battery fully
charged, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder can cover up to 30 kilometres (19
miles) on electric power alone. As such, far from filling in as a
bit-part player, the electric motor plays a role equal to that of
the petrol engine. If required, a high-voltage alternator hooked up
to the combustion engine generates extra power, which is then stored
in the hybrid battery. This range-extending function during the
course of a journey allows the two-seater to travel further between
Another special feature
of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder is the ability to send power through
the front, rear or all four wheels at the same time. Intelligent
control electronics ensure that the optimum drive configuration is
available for the situation at hand. The driver can view the driving
mode currently engaged and monitor the activity of the two drive
sources on the large information display in the cockpit.
Furthermore, the electronic systems ensure maximum energy
recuperation under braking or when coasting. All of which means that
the driver can enjoy maximum dynamic performance, unbeatable
directional stability and minimal consumption and emissions at all
perfect link between mobile living environments. BMW i sums up the
idea of mobility geared to the demands of the future and the needs
of its customers. To this end, BMW i drivers will have a new
generation of driver assistance systems at their disposal which
significantly enhance both safety and comfort. For example, the
camera-based proactive Collision Warning system, Parking Assistant
and Traffic Jam Assistant ensure all on board can enjoy a safe and
In addition, BMW i is
developing an array of innovative connectivity functions which
provide a seamless link between its models and their owners’ lives
outside the car. Remote functions accessed via a smartphone help
users to locate their car in large car parks (CarFinder), show
nearby charging stations, allow the battery to be charged at pre-set
times and inform drivers on the current status of their vehicle.
Plus, the battery and interior can be brought up to peak operating
temperature before the driver sets off on a journey. The Last Mile
Navigation function, meanwhile, assists drivers after they have
parked their car, with route instructions transferred directly onto
their smartphone directing them along the last leg of their journey
on foot – to a museum or restaurant, for example. And the Intermodal
Route Planning function effectively integrates the car into the
local public transport network and provides information on current
parking availability at the driver’s destination.
Interface design aids intelligent mobility. Two large displays
inside the BMW i8 Concept Spyder make up the interface between the
car, its passengers and the outside world. Positioned alongside the
instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, the central
information display flags up all relevant information and assists
the driver in the use of connectivity applications. A third display
shows the automatic climate control settings currently engaged. All
the screens display their information in 3D, and the cutting-edge,
visually appealing graphics are also impressively clear.
The instrument cluster
displays important driving data using two variable-form ellipses.
Positioned alongside the digital speedometer, the efficiency display
allows drivers to view how much energy they are currently using – or
recovering through the recuperation process. Added to which, the
display also contains extra navigation details and information on
the car’s range when running purely on electric power, its range
when powered by the combustion engine alone and its range using both
power units in tandem. If the driver switches to energy-saving ECO
PRO mode, the display turns blue in colour to signal the shift in
functional emphasis, and the ellipses now also vary in form. By the
same token, moving into SPORT mode treats the driver to an emotional
orange hue. As well as the changes in colour, the displays also
provide information tailored to the driving mode selected and to
assisting the driver as effectively as possible.
Central information display.
The central information
display in the BMW i8 Concept Spyder makes a key contribution to
intelligent mobility. It allows the driver to view the current
status of the hybrid system, provides a platform for menu navigation
and route guidance, and uses innovative connectivity functions to
offer drivers a gateway into their lives outside the car. This
ensures drivers remain up to speed at all times on how the
combustion engine and electric motor are being used, while also
being able to monitor the energy flow within the system.
Forward-thinking analysis of the
The car’s power
electronics are linked up to intelligent navigation and traffic
guidance systems to enable the hybrid drive system to work at
maximum efficiency. In this way, information on route profile, speed
limits and unavoidable traffic congestion are incorporated into the
calculations of the energy management system so that the hybrid
system’s operating strategy can be adapted accordingly. For example,
proactive charging of the hybrid battery allows the BMW i8 Concept
Spyder to negotiate a traffic tailback on the road ahead using
electric power alone – and therefore without producing any
emissions. In addition, handy displays such as fuel consumption
history allow interesting reflections on past journeys and help to
optimise the driving style of the individual at the wheel.
Perfectly prepared at all times
thanks to diary synchronisation.
functions open the door to a host of other practical solutions when
it comes to preparing the BMW i8 Concept Spyder for its daily
workload. One example of this is automatic diary synchronisation
with the driver’s smartphone. The system registers upcoming
appointments and, when plugged into a power socket, ensures that the
battery is topped up overnight so that the car is ready for action
with a fully charged battery the following morning.
The BMW i concept. BMW i
is about the development of visionary vehicles and mobility
services, inspiring design, and a new premium perception strongly
guided by sustainability. Under the banner of the young sub-brand,
the BMW Group is developing purpose-built vehicle concepts which
redefine the understanding of personal mobility. Key elements
include groundbreaking technologies, intelligent lightweight design
and the innovative use of materials, all with the aim of creating
vehicles with extremely low weight, the greatest possible range,
generous interior space, poised and authoritative driving
characteristics, and exceptional safety. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder
follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept
Coupe as the third concept car created under the BMW i sub-brand.
Sustainability plays a
paramount role in the BMW i concept. It is an issue that runs like a
thread throughout the value chain – all the way from purchasing,
through development and production to sales and marketing. And when
it comes to the efficient manufacturing of its vehicles, BMW i goes
a step further still.
The Leipzig production plant will see an additional 70 per cent
reduction in water use and 50 per cent drop in energy consumption
per vehicle over the years ahead. And the energy that is used will
be sourced 100 per cent from renewable sources.