A topless version of the futuristic BMW i8 is headed towards production, four years after the i8 Spyder concept made its debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, and following on from it’s re-emergence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
The production Spyder will also be joined by an updated version of the i3, equipped with a larger battery capacity and increased driving range.
The plans were announced as part of BMW’s ‘Strategy Number One > Next’ announcement, held to commemorate the brand’s 100th anniversary, and used to announce the company’s short-term future plans.
For the i group of vehicles, BMW announced iNEXT, adding in areas such as digital connectivity and automated driving technologies to the existing lightweight construction and electric propulsion initiatives already handled by the i division.
From 2016 BMW will feature seven models in its range that feature either full electrification, or a plug-in hybrid system, including cars under the iPerformance banner, regular BMW-line vehicles that feature drivetrain technology created by i, like the 330i and X5 xDrive40e.
While a plug-in hybrid version of the existing MINI range was announced, the full extent of the range is as yet unknown, however some of those new additions may not make it to Australia.
As well as pushing ahead with the electrification of its range, BMW will also continue work on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with current test vehicles able to achieve a 700km driving range.
BMW believes that electrification and fuel cell technology are likely to develop side-by-side, and has developed its current range of vehicle architectures to allow for both conventional and alternative drivetrain systems.