The BMW i8 Concept Spyder makes its world debut in Beijing at Auto China 2012 this week. As with all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles coming from the manufacturer, it bears an eDrive emblem on its rear end.
The i8 Spyder, like the coupe shown in New York, is a plug-in hybrid with an electric motor up front and a mid-mounted turbocharged 3-cylinder gasoline engine powering the rear axle. A lithium-ion battery pack is located between the two. Total output for the whole system is 354 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.
The i8’s drivetrain can be front-, rear- or all-wheel drive depending on whether it’s efficiency, performance or traction you’re after. It offers 50:50 weight distribution, and BMW says the extra weight of a hybrid drivetrain has been negated through use of lightweight materials like carbon fibre and aluminum.
The Spyder is slightly shorter than the coupe, and also features a pair of electric scooters under the rear glass panel.