BMW i8 Spyder Release Delayed By Engineering IssuesBy: Brian Powell - December 19, 2013
In 2011’s newest installment of the Mission: Impossible series, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise cruises along the streets of Mumbai in a super futuristic looking vehicle. Well, folks, the future is not so distant. The car featured in Cruise’s blockbuster film was a prototype of the BMW i8 series of cars. As it currently stands, the BMW i8 coupe is slated to roll off assembly lines and into garages sometime next year. While the production of the i8 coupe has been finished for quite some time, the BMW i8 Spyder – the coupe’s convertible cousin – has been rumored for quite some time, but no specifics had been revealed as to its production or release.
That was the case, at least, until Bimmerpost updated their forum Tuesday and stated that BMW had approved the BMW i8 Spyder to begin production and hopefully roll off the assembly line in late 2015. This news surely thrilled many of those who are in the market for a hybrid, convertible, sports car.
Unfortunately for those who felt Christmas had come 2 years early, however, the tables turned yesterday. According to Autocar.co.uk, the release of the BMW i8 Spyder is delayed for an unknown amount of time. The delay comes as a result of the engineering department being unable to solve for structural issues that occur when turning the coupe into a convertible: “The last architecture presented some fairly major challenges, to be able to produce a convertible in that format. The rigidity was hard to find with that particular architecture.”
That being said, car aficionados everywhere should not despair. While the BMW i8 Spyder will be delayed, it still promises to be one of the neatest additions to the automobile world in quite some time. While the car may not feature a nifty HUD display as seen on the windshield of Cruise’s model in Mission: Impossible (nor will it include a lovely looking lady in the passenger seat), the BMW i8 Spyder will offer plenty of incentives that make the large price-tag less daunting, such as sleek, aerodynamic lines, an energy support system for the hybrid engine, ECO, PRO, and SPORT modes of driving, a smart-phone linked, 3D media and navigation console, and a super neat new keyfob.
The structural integrity issues of the BMW i8 Spyder stem from the fact that BMW chose to construct the car out of super light-weight carbon fiber and aluminum. These materials work well for the coupe version, but the pressure put on the convertible from wind resistance has wreaked havoc with achieving the rigidity needed in the body to drive the vehicle on the open road.
The BMW i8 Spyder will be essentially identical to the coupe version, except a bit smaller. The i8 Spyder will still feature the 220 horsepower, rear mounted, 1.5 L TwinPower turbo three-cylinder gasoline engine to power the rear wheels, and a 129 horsepower electric engine to power the front wheels. All told, the BMW i8 Spyder will be able to go from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and will top-out at 156 mph – and it does all of this while achieving 80 mpg.
If one wished to become the next Ethan Hunt, the first thing one will have to acquire is patience. The i8 Spyder may not hit markets until 2016. The only quality one must possess other than patience is deep pockets, as the BMW i8 Spyder will cost a bit more than the price tag of the BMW i8 coupe, which is estimated at $135, 925.