The jaw-droppingly awesome and gorgeous BMW i8 Spyder is running late. While you might be seeing some ‘regular’ i8 coupes driving around in the not too distant future, you’ll have to hold your horses if you want to get behind the wheel of one of the coolest convertibles to be announced for a long long time.
The i8 is an altogether new type of beast, it’s one of the first real attempts by a major car company to make hybrid cars, hmm how should I put this?, absolutely freakin’ awesome!
The i8 is a demonstration of fanatic German engineering, the car is designed to be the most aerodynamic car ever, according to Henrik Wenders the head of the i8 production team, they have made the car “optimally aerodynamic, like a drip of water”… just a hell of a lot cooler and faster.
The car uses Carbon Fiber and Aluminim throughout to minimize weight, making this piece of beauty remarkably efficient.
The sports car is a plug-in hybrid. So power comes from a good old fashioned, but light-weight Aluminium, engine behind the seats turning the rear wheels, AND an electric motor at the front of the car powering the front wheels. There’s a high voltage battery running down the middle of the car, under your armrest, in addition to the regular gasoline tank.
So, you don’t even have to feel too guilty about destroying the environment in one of these stunning vehicles, because as you use your breaks to slow the car down you’ll actually be recharging the battery, and you can also plug the car in at home. So, you could probably manage to do a lot of local errands without ever having to pollute the atmosphere. But let’s be honest, hybrids were never so cool, until the i8 came along.
BUT, Beemer is having some problems with the uber-sexy drop-top Spyder model. You see, the regular i8 coupe is made from super light carbonfiber reinforced plastic, it’s really really light, but only strong enough, as it turns out, to keep the Coupe model’s body shape rigid. Apparently, when you make a convertible, the bodyshell, which is actually keeping the car’s shape together properly, is under a lot more pressure to maintain it’s rigidity. If you’ve ever driven a badly made convertible you might have noticed the whole car ‘flexing’ when the road isn’t totally flat.
It might sound cool to have a car that conforms to the shape of the road as you’re driving, but we’re years away from any technology that would make that safe. In the meantime, BMW is having a hard time making the i8 Spyder stay firm and rigid when you take off the roof, because of the new light-weight materials it’s made from.