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Spied 2018 BMW i8 Spyder Looks Production Ready

Munich’s hybrid sports car is gains a soft top

Years after the arrival of the coupe, the much-delayed BMW i8 Spyder appears to be ready to make its entrance, at least if this prototype that was recently spied cruising German city streets is any indication.

Visually, there are a few subtle changes in the grille, side skirts, and rear. Given that the i8 is about due for a facelift, it’s not certain if these are specific to the convertible.

The key difference is, of course, the roof, which is now made out of a fabric material. It’s styled to look more like targa-top than a traditional convertible, with the canvas roof likely sliding beneath the rear cover..

One open question are the i8 Spyder’s doors. Although the Spyder uses a frameless window design instead of the coupe’s fully framed one, it retains the front part of the window frame. As such, its possible that the removable-roof i8 will keep its fixed-roof sibling’s fancy doors.

Currently, the BMW i8 is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter I-3 good for 228 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque and an electric motor that makes 129 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The powertrain provides the hybrid sports car with a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds. There have been rumors of BMW working on a power upgrade of roughly 10%; if those are accurate, we should see that reflected in the i8 Spyder’s specs when it is finally unveiled, possibly in September at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show.