By Bennett Oghifo
BMW has confirmed that a roadster version of the i8 plug-in hybrid will launch within two years, according to Automotive News.
A concept version of the i8 Spyder was first seen back in 2012 at the Beijing Auto Show and production was scheduled to begin much earlier, but it has been delayed a number of times. Now, BMW CEO Harald Krueger confirmed that the i8 roadster will be joining the BMW lineup in 2018.
Alongside the new roadster, a revised version of the i8 coupe is also expected to launch in the next two years. Both cars are expected to have a longer-range battery pack and a more powerful electric motor. Currently, the i8 uses a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged 231-hp gas engine as well as a 131-hp electric motor for a combined total output of 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Rumour has it that the new i8 will make somewhere around 420 horsepower.
Inspiration for the car will also come from the i Vision Future Interaction Concept, which was revealed at CES packing all sorts of technology and some new design ideas.
Also, BMW’s future interiors will be a Sci-Fi dream. BMW rolled out two different i8 concepts along with an i3 and more to show off its latest technology at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.
The star of these concepts is the BMW i Vision Future Interaction concept, which is an i8 with an interior packed full of futuristic technology. High-resolution vehicle displays including a 21-inch screen are found throughout the interior, which are controlled using gestures, touch-sensitive surfaces and voice controls. BMW says that the content on each screen will match the situation the vehicle is in, while other key info is shown on a head-up display.
This i8 concept has three drive modes that have a range of autonomy, from the highly autonomous auto mode to pure drive, in which the driver is in full control.
There is also the BMW i8 Mirrorless concept which, as the name implies, ditches its mirrors for cameras which feed their footage to a display which replaces the interior rear-view mirror. Besides showing you live footage, the screen will feature superimposed trajectory lines along with yellow warning icons to show imminent hazards.
BMW also revealed its new Open Mobility Cloud, which allows the brand’s cars, in this case an i3, hook up to a smart home and with personal devices. This will allow all of your devices to share information with your vehicle, including your calendar, mobility options, energy status of the home and charge status of the i3.
This i3 is also fit with gesture control parking, which means the car will recognize certain gestures and can drive into and out of a parking space fully autonomously. For security, bumper detect will know if the car is being tampered with and can send a live video feed to your device.
For those interested in BMW’s on two wheels, the brand showed off new laser light in the K1600 GTL that have a range of 600 meters. The brand also showed a motorcycle helmet with a built-in head-up display.