There’s no denying the magnetism of the beauty that is the BMW i8. It attracts people from far away places just to get a glimpse at its striking lines and wonderful curves. It’s a car like we’ve never seen before and is the closest thing to a production concept car ever to be released. The i8 is a striking achievement, in both design and technology. But there is just one thing missing — The ability to drop the top.
How can you make such a beautiful car even more beautiful? Cut the roof off. BMW released a concept called the i8 Spyder Concept and it was exactly that, an i8 minus the roof. It looked absolutely excellent and somehow even more desirable than the standard car. The best part is the, sort of, double bubble back going on behind the passengers. It just looks fantastic.
BMW had hinted that it would make such a car and debut it around the same time that the standard coupe version. However, it seems as if no such plans will come to fruition. Which is a shame, as the i8 is such a massive success that it should be celebrated with an even more exciting model. The demand for the coupe is already so high that a Spyder version would definitely sell.
Weight might be an issue, as power hardtops are always significantly heavier and the whole point of the i8 is to be light. And, unfortunately, it would have to be a power hardtop because customers in that price range wouldn’t want a fabric top. Plus it wouldn’t look good with one anyone. The good news, is that structural rigidity wouldn’t be an issue, like with most convertible versions of coupes. The i8’s CFRP monocoque is so stiff that chopping the top off wouldn’t be too much of a penalty in the stiffness department.
But the main reason why BMW should make the i8 Spyder, the big thing, is the noise. Losing the top of any sports car allows the driver and passenger to hear the exhaust note even more. The 1.5 liter three-cylinder engine might not be exciting on paper, but it does make a very good noise, even if it is artificially enhanced. Dropping the top would send an already electrifying (pun intended) car, like the i8, over the top. It would be infinitely desirable.
I can understand that it might be very expensive to make, as the i8 doesn’t sell in anywhere near the volumes of most other BMWs, so springing for a new variant won’t be cheap. But as a halo car, something to show people what BMW can really do when, it would be ever so worth it. So yes, there are some wrinkles that would need to be ironed out (weight, stiffness, cost) but it would be well worth the effort as the automotive world needs an i8 Spyder. Lexus was able to give us the mighty LFA, despite it costing Lexus more money than it made, so BMW should give us the i8. Because its the car we deserve.