Zero-to-sixty in five seconds. 78 MPGe. BMW handling. Top-down.
Where do we sign?
BMW has unveiled the last of its three-model i lineup, the i8 Spyder, at the Beijing Auto Show. The i cars are Bimmer’s future green lineup.
The i8 Spyder is a “through-the-road” hybrid — meaning that it has a 131 horsepower electric motor up front powering the front wheels, and a 223 horsepower turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine mounted in the middle powering the rear wheels.
That should give it a near-perfect weight balance, supercar acceleration and that astonishing 78 MPGe rating (MPGe, if it’s new to you, is Miles Per Gallon equivalent, meant to help compare the efficiency of electric and gas-powered cars).
It also gives the driver a stunning flexibility — the car can be a front-wheel-drive, all-electric green machine, a rear-wheel-drive, gas-powered hot roadster, or an all-wheel-drive supercar using both motors, all with the flip of a switch.
Will the final production car look anything like this sexy concept? Actually, it could look close. Some of these elements don’t look realistic (good luck getting that rear bumper through any country’s crash tests), but on the whole, this looks closer to production-ready than many of the concepts we’ve seen.