The 2014 BMW i8 is soon to make its debut in production trim. These spy shots of a prototype show the car with the least camouflage gear yet and reveal details of its interior.

Retaining a great deal of its conceptual design, the i8 looks just about as we last saw it, though this time it’s wearing most of the elements that will appear on the final production car.

Not long ago, we brought you the latest word on production specs for the i8, along with a spy video showing the car in action.

Though the original concept's sweeping expanses of structural glass have gone, as they must for safety, the flying buttress rear roof pillars remain, and a small air inlet nested in the flared rear fender near the door sill adds another highlight. The fuel filler cap also sits in the fender.

As for the rest of the BMW i8, it's expected to be a high-performance hybrid in addition to a dramatically-designed coupe. Acceleration to 60 mph should come in around the sub-five-second mark, with a top speed of 155 mph.

On top of the fast, it should be efficient, too, with the concept aimed at about 78 mpg. The i8 is expected to manage these impressive figures with a curb weight of about 3,200 pounds, a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine rated at 223 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, plus an electric motor good for an additional 170 horsepower--making total combined output something close to 400 horsepower, with the double-bonus of turbo and electric torque at the low and mid range.

The combustion engine drives the rear wheels, while the electric motor drives the front, making the i8 a so-called “through-the-road” hybrid, which will be capable of either gasoline-only, electric-only, or hybrid propulsion. The electric-only range should be around 20 miles.

2014 BMW i8 spy shots

2014 BMW i8 spy shots

Running down the center of the floor is an "energy tunnel" that houses the high-voltage lithium-ion battery. This gives the i8 a very low center of gravity--and all the dynamic benefits that come with it. The positioning of the electric motor and engine over their respective axles also helps provide an ideal 50/50 weight distribution.

The 2014 BWM i8 is due to commence production at BMW's Leipzig plant this fall, arriving in the first driveways in early 2014--at right around the $200,000 mark. Look for a debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.


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