BMW i8 Sypder Concept - live on stage in Beijing

BMW has created the BMW i sub-brand for its upcoming production plug-in models, which currently include three concepts: the i3, i8 and the i8 Spyder. After keeping that third model away from our eager cameras at the New York Auto Show, BMW finally showed off the i8 Spyder Concept in the metal at the Beijing Motor Show today.

The car itself we've already learned plenty about, but seeing it on stage shows once again that BMW is serious about putting cars like these on the road (toned down from the concept's style, of course, perhaps with something like this). We're more than ready for the through-the-road, plug-in hybrid that packs a 96-kW (131-horsepower) electric motor in front and a turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine offering 223 hp in back. 0-62 in five seconds and maybe 78 MPGe? Yes, please.

BMW is also making official the "eDrive" name, which is the new catch-all name for all of the electric drivetrain components: motor, battery and motor management system. First hinted at in 2008, the eDrive designation will be used "for the drive technology of all future electric and plug-in hybrid cars," so get used to seeing it a lot.
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BMW i8 Concept Spyder with BMW eDrive in Beijing. New designation for the drive technology of all future electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

23.04.2012

Munich/Beijing. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder is celebrating its world premiere at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing (23 April – 2 May 2012) and the rear-end of the car clearly bears the eDrive emblem for the new technology. In future, the designation eDrive will identify the drive technology for all electric and plug-in hybrid cars from BMW i.

BMW eDrive comprises the components of the electric drivetrain: the electric motor developed in-house by BMW, the lithium-ion battery, and finally the intelligent motor management system. This technology ensures that electromobility with BMW eDrive offers a unique experience. This is because the full torque of the electric motor is available from a standing start and the acceleration unfolds continuously in thoroughbred electric vehicles until the top speed is attained. Vehicles with BMW eDrive technology are therefore extremely agile and offer enormous driving pleasure. The lithium-ion battery cells and the intelligent motor management system also offer a substantial increase in range and power for the vehicle.

The future will see BMW eDrive technology empowering all electric drives – electric and plug-in vehicles from BMW i – giving them the capability for being particularly dynamic and smart.