BMW i first wowed the world when they introduced the groundbreaking i8, but plans to introduce an open-top version is now an open secret.

In fact, we’re getting closer to its world debut, with the production version due for completion by 2018. It’s difficult to tell apart the new design save for the fabric roof, of course. The iconic scissor doors are here to stay.

It retains the same carbon-fibre reinforced plastic tub and the plug-in hybrid powertrain. The coupe gets a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, produces 362 hp and 570 Nm of torque. It sprints (the standard coupe) from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds.

The history of the BMW i8 Roadster can be traced back to the unveiling of the Spyder Concept back in 2012. The coupe was launched in 2013 and took the world by storm. Next year, the roadster, together with the mid-life update for the coupe, should propel the i8 to greater heights.