BMW i8 Spyder gets green light for production; interiors teased ahead of 2016 Consumer Electronics Show Launch in January [Update]
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid is one of the prettiest cars around in the world right now with a jaw-dropping design to captivate consumers and most importantly harbingers the technology for future road cars.
The Spyder Concept of the i8 debuted at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show and it took BMW this long to announce that it will be put into production. The German luxury brand’s new CEO Harald Krueger has confirmed the news and the BMW i8 Spyder will be revealed in its showroom-spec at the upcoming 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The Concept was displayed with removable roof panels back then but the luxury car manufacturer could tend to incline towards automatic rooftops as seen in the hardtop Z4 and 4-Series and softtops in the 2-Series and 6-Series. Therefore, we are unsure of which system BMW will incorporate in the i8 Spyder production model that is most likely to come with an updated powertrain.
At the 2015 New York Auto Show, the BMW i8 was awarded as the World Green Car of the Year bettering other two finalists Volkswagen Golf GTE and Mercedes-Benz S500e. It was also in the running for the World Luxury Car of 2015 only to be beaten by the mighty Mercedes S-Class.
BMW has unveiled a teaser image of the i8 Spyder Concept’s all-new interior termed as BMW Vision Interior that previews the ‘AirTouch’ control feature. It has created a huge buzz as the new interior gives not only a sneak-peak of the i8 Spyder’s interiors but also could pave the way for BMW models of the future.
The ‘AirTouch’ gesture control teased is an evolved technology of BMW Gesture Control that can be found in the sixth generation luxury sedan, the 7-Series and its speciality is in keeping driver fully-focussed on the road.
This can be achieved in such a way that the infotainment system won’t need the operator, be it driver or front passenger, to touch over the surface of the screen and do changes they intend to perform. Instead, the gesture control sensors installed on the dashboard registers certain hand movements in the area between rear-view mirror and center console.
Therefore the menu selection and everything you want to asssist with via infotainment touchscreen are made easier with simple hand gestures. There’s a AirTouch button equipped on the left part of the steering wheel for driver and one on the side sill of the door for the passenger. They illuminate whenever a particular action on the infotainment system can be performed, thus you can press the button for an easy activation.
Launched in February 2015 in India, the i8 hybrid sportscar is being sold at exclusive i-dealerships in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi for a price tag of Rs. 2.29 crore. It incorporates abundant use of lightweight materials like aluminium, composite carbon fibre and polycarbonate glass as seen on the concept model which was first introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show back in 2009.
The exterior looks swoopy with BMW’s signature kidney grille, slim LED headlamps, distinctive scissor doors, flowing side profile with shapes and cuts for aerodynamic benefit and a rear end boasting an uppy spoiler merging with LED tail lights.
Standard equipment includes the new generation BMW iDrive system with touch controller and handwriting recognition, 8.8-inch navigation colour display, BMW Head-Up Display, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system in addition to rear and front parking cameras.
The BMW i8’s powertrain is a combination of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a powerful lithium-ion battery powered electric motor. The petrol engine is rated to give 231PS of power and 320Nm torque whilst the electric motor develops 131PS and 250Nm. Thus, total output would be 362PS of power and 570Nm of peak-torque.
In electric mode, the i8 can reach a speed of 120km/h with a maximum range of 35km range. The petrol and electric hybrid system can make the car sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds and can get to a top speed of 250km/h. The hybrid more can deliver maximum range of 600km. Safety systems that come as standard are dynamic stability control, ABS, corner braking stability, dynamic braking stability and eight airbags.