The i8 plug-in hybrid is the product of BMW‘s best engineering and innovation in an effort to create the most advanced automobile to ever come from the Bavarian automaker.
Motivated by a 170-hp electric motor driving the front wheels and a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine producing 223-hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque at the rear, the performance figures don’t sound exactly supercar territory. However, thanks to a lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, BMW managed to keep its i8 down to a thin 3,197 lbs., good enough to earn respectable performance numbers like a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.9 seconds. A unique all-wheel drive system, which can change into an all-front or all-rear powered car in an instant, should provide the i8 with superior all-condition handling performance as well. What’s more, on a full charge, the BMW i8 can travel 20 miles in full electric mode.
But BMW isn’t going to stop there. In an effort to make the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car even more appealing, a convertible “Spyder” version is also in the works, with a selection of photos having been released ahead of the cars debut at the New York Auto Show next week. Could this be the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric convertible to go into production?