Mike Stevens | Apr 24, 2012

BMW's i8 Concept Spyder has made its official debut in Beijing this week, offering a look at the evolution of the upcoming production coupe.

The coupe's look carries over largely unchanged, with only the absense of the roof and transparent doors, along with the restyled rear deck, revealing any obvious departure from the i8 concept's design.

The Spyder concept is slightly shorter nose-to-tail than its hardtop sibling however: the wheelbase has been cut by 150mm and the coupe's rear seats removed in the transformation to roadster.

The unveiling of the Spyder also brings a new 'eDrive' nomenclature for BMW's i-badged models, following in the footprints of the regular sDrive and xDrive variants.

Representing the electric and plug-in hybrid facet of the BMW i range, the eDrive badge will be paired with any model that features an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack and the specially "intelligent" motor management technology.

2012 bmw i8 concept spyder 07

As with the i8 coupe, the i8 Spyder concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid arrangement that pairs a 164kW/300Nm turbocharged 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 96kW/250Nm electric motor.

BMW says the system's combined output out 260kW will propel the 1630kg concept to 100km/h in 5.0 seconds flat, arriving at the ton about 0.4 seconds after the coupe.

Depending on driving mode, the coupe promises fuel consumption figures of 2.7 l/100km, and BMW says the i8 Spyder will achieve around 3.0 l/100km.

While the i8 coupe is locked in for a production debut, it remains to be seen if the i8 Spyder will follow. BMW does have a penchant for topless tourers however, so, in one form or another, we'd rate the Spyder's chances as a firm possible.

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