THE BMW i8 is hot property. With its mixture of avant-garde styling, sports car performance, hi-tech engineering, (almost) saintly emissions and respectable running costs, it has sold out in Britain; indeed the waiting list is a year long.
There is, however, some good news for drivers who weren’t quick enough out of the blocks to bag one of the 450 BMW i8 coupés available in Britain each year: a roadster version is on the way.
Harald Krüger, BMW’s recently appointed chief executive, has reportedly confirmed that a topless version will appear in the near future. Sources at the German car maker have said that an i8 Spyder concept will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.
The concept car follows a one-off i8 Spyder (pictured here) that BMW displayed as long ago as 2012 at the Beijing motor show.
The new BMW i8 Spyder concept is likely to be packed with autonomous driving technology and “connectivity” (access to the internet and cloud services). With no wing mirrors — or even doors, according to our sources — the CES concept will showcase a new camera and radar-based system for detecting other road users.
The production version is understood to be more than a year away. Its introduction could coincide with a facelift and battery upgrade for all i8s.
The coupé, which is priced from £104,540, has been available in Britain since July 2014. Because of the long waiting list, some cars have been sold by dealers for as much as £150,000, but prices have settled to under £100,000 now.