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First pics: BMW's electric Spyder

2012-04-03 09:09

FUTURE BMW: BMW's new sub-brand has developed three models since 2011 and all will debut in 2013. Gallery!

  Gallery

2012 BMW i8 Spyder

Gallery

Back in 2011 we reported on BMW's new concept models being unveiled under the German automaker new "i" sub-brand. Our spy photographers even managed to capture the new i3 and i8 concept vehicles undergoing testing.

Now BMW's unveiled a third concept model under it's future mobility sub-brand - the i8  Spyder concept.

The new model based on the i8 will be a two-seater and has a shorter wheelbase and upward swivelling, windowless doors. A two-section roof is planned for when the weather is less favourable.

2.56-LITRE/100KM

At the front, laser light headlamps use the BMW i "U" design. The Spyder will have have a new interior compared to the standard i8 with additional kit including a pair of electric scooters, housed under a transparent tailgate.

The new model uses a 97kW electric motor to power the front axle and a 166kW turbocharged three-cylinder engine to power the rear. The combined output of 263kW propels the Spyder from 0-100km/h in just five seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h, yet delivers an outstanding combined fuel consumption of 2.56 litre/100km.

The electric motor gets its energy from the car’s lithium-ion batteries and can be fully charged via a domestic plug socket in under two hours. The Spyder has a range of 30.5km running on electric power, while a high voltage generator hooked up to the combustion engine can generate additional power if needed and stored in the battery.

The driver has three screens through which to access information; the twin ellipses of the instrument cluster, the central information display and the climate display. In ecopro mode the vehicle maximises efficiency and the displays turn blue while in sport mode it glows orange.

The 8.8-inch central screen displays the status of the hybrid system, navigational data and connectivity functions. The Spyder has a camera-based collision warning feature, park and traffic jam assistance. By using a smart phone, the driver can locate their vehicle with CarFinder, show nearby charging stations, allow batteries to be charged at pre-determined times and stay informed of the vehicle’s status.

Even the interior can be pre-warmed on a cold morning.

BMW's i8 Spyder along with its hybrid siblings give us the best indication of how the German automaker's fourth brand, after Mini and Rolls-Royce, will appear when it makes its debut in 2013.

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