At long last - BMW i8 Roadster details released

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

BMW has finally revealed the production-spec i8 Roadster at the ongoing LA motor show, five years after the original concept had been showcased at the 2012 Beijing motor show.

For those not up-to-date with BMWs nomenclature and model lineup, we are talking about the i8 facelift, which is also getting a much-awaited Roadster version. The extended range means that i8 Roadster is good for 18 miles of pure electric driving.

Both the coupe (grey pictured above and below) and the new roadster version (orange pictured above and below) are equipped with the same powertrain, but their form factors result in slightly different performance. Pressing the eDrive button increases all-electric top speed to 120 km/h (75 mph).

Components on the new i8 Roadster's convertible roof mechanism are made out of aluminum using a new 3D printing process. That's thanks, too, to a unique hybrid all-wheel-drive system in which the gas engine drives the rear wheels while an electric motor drives the fronts.

Inside, the i8 Coupe's 2+2 configuration is eschewed in favor of a two-seat layout for the i8 Roadster, which features a claimed 3.2 cu. -ft.

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

The 2019 BMW i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster will enter showrooms globally, starting in the second quarter of 2018. Of course it is also coupled with the electric drive system at 141 hp that brings that total power output to a respectable 369 horsepower.

Pricing has not been announced, but a BMW representative told us the i8 Roadster will start "north of $150,000".

The i8 Roadster becomes the third member of BMW's futuristic i family. The iconic gullwing doors have also been retained. That puts total output up to 369 horsepower, with acceleration to 60 miles per hour of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe and 4.4 seconds for the Roadster, numbers that BMW describes as "preliminary".

Both low slung cars appeared onstage alongside the North American debut of the BMW i Vision Dynamics that was introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show a few months ago. Its cell capacity is up from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, while the gross energy capacity has been increased from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh.

Both can be ordered with Tera World Copper interior trim, which is new to the i8, and features a cloth and leather upholstery combination in a two-tone (Amido/E-Copper) colour scheme.




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