BMW i Future Interaction Concept At CES Hints At i8 Spyder (Again)

Way back in 2012, BMW unveiled a convertible i8 Spyder as a followup to the original i8 plug-in hybrid coupe concept.

But while the coupe went into production as a 2014 model, the i8 Spyder never went beyond the concept stage.

But BMW isn't quite done with the idea of a convertible i8, apparently.

DON'T MISS: BMW's Electric Range Grows With 2015 BMW i8 Concept Spyder (Apr 2012)

Debuting at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the BMW i Future Interaction concept is yet another i8 convertible concept--albeit one more focused on in-car tech.

The car seems to have been built primarily to show off features like AirTouch--a gesture-control system that allows users to operate controls by simply hovering their fingers over the dashboard display screens.

But the fact that BMW has now built two convertible i8 concepts indicates the company is at least thinking about a production version.

BMW i Future Interaction concept - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

BMW i Future Interaction concept - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

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During the concept's CES unveiling, BMW product chief Klaus Fröhlich did in fact say that BMW should "build it as soon as possible."

The car itself seems to have adopted most of the relevant styling cues of the production i8 coupe.

Comparing it to the 2012 i8 Spyder concept highlights the changes made to the i8 design in the transition to production.

ALSO SEE: CES Preview: VW Budd.e Concept, Chevy Bolt EV, Faraday, Ford Mystery, And More

If BMW did decide to put an i8 convertible into production, it wouldn't have to worry too much about direct competition.

The only plug-in convertible currently sold in the U.S. is the tiny Smart Fortwo Electric Drive.

The i Future Interaction wasn't the only i8-based concept at CES, though.

BMW i Future Interaction concept - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

BMW i Future Interaction concept - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Enlarge Photo

BMW also unveiled the Mirrorless concept, based on the production i8 coupe.

It replaces traditional rear and side-view mirrors with three cameras--hence the name.

Several carmakers--notably including Tesla--have lobbied to allow for the replacement of external mirrors by rearview cameras on production cars.

MORE: 2015 BMW i8 Video Road Test (Mar 2015)

This would help improve aerodynamics, and BMW claims the Mirrorless concept's cameras offer a wider field of view, too.

On a somewhat less realistic note, Swiss design firm Rinspeed was also set display its Etos concept.

This is an i8 modified to launch its own drone, and with (likely theoretical) autonomous-driving capabilities.


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