Updated BMW i8 and new i8 Roadster revealed

Nichole Vega
November 30, 2017

The difference we are talking about is the fact that the 2019 BMW i8 features a 2+2 seating arrangement while the i8 Roadster is a two-seater.

The cabin has been updated similar to the i8 Coupe. "For us, electric mobility is the new normal", said Klaus Frohlich, member of the board of management at BMW AG and development during the BMW press conference.

The new i8 features an aluminium body supporting a carbon fibre reinforced passenger cell and under the skin the i8's electronics have been given a boost with battery capacity increased by 14Ah to 34Ah. The i8 model can drive under fully electric power and also offers an engaging sport experience, along with an out-of-this world design.

This equates to a slightly slower 0-100kmh time of 4.6 seconds (i8 Coupe 4.5 secs). Those lighter of foot can cruise up to around 18 miles in all-electric mode. When we say this beast is packing a 1.5-litre engine it might not sound impressive but bare with us.

The result is more power with the gross energy rating now up 7.1kWh to 11.6kWh giving the electric motor which drives the front wheels a power output of 143 horsepower.

As expected, the i8 Roadster is heavier than the fixed-roof model, by around 60 kg (132 lb).

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA
2018 BMW i8 Roadster adds open-top thrills to Munich's plug-in sports car

BMW has revealed its facelifted i8 Coupe at the LA Motor Show, as well as debuting a new model, the BMW i8 Roadster. That soft, fabric top, BMW says, opens and closes in 16 seconds and can do so while driving at up to 31 miles per hour (50 km/h). The soft-top can be stowed back in a cavity behind the seats in a perpendicular position. The stowage solution means that the i8 Roadster actually benefits from increased storage space.

In Germany, the basic price for the new BMW M5 was announced at 117,900 euros, but it can quickly climb a few tens of thousands with additional options and packages. This allows for geometric parts that can not be cast for the optimum strength and size to be used, balancing weight with rigidity requirements.

An even weight distribution, low center of gravity and gullwing doors add to the sportiness of the hybrid vehicles, which are set to go on sale in the Spring of 2018.

BMW has also released two new paint finishes, E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic.

The i8 Roadster becomes the third member of BMW's futuristic i family.

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