BMW debuts its i8 Roadster for top-down green driving

2019 BMW I8 Roadster And Coupe 07

2019 BMW I8 Roadster And Coupe 07

For now the vehicle has merely been unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show - there's still no information as to when the new i8 Roadster goes on sale in the United Kingdom, or what it might cost. It won't sell in high volume, but it'll draw attention, no question.

BMW has revealed its facelifted i8 Coupe at the LA Motor Show, as well as debuting a new model, the BMW i8 Roadster. While the Bavarians' halo sports auto still has the looks and the driving characteristics that made it special at its debut, technology has certainly moved on.

The Roadster gains 60kg over the coupe, mainly on account of the reworked chassis that allows for the folding roof.

Standard features on both the coupe and roadster include a fast charging cable, the Professional satellite navigation system, the company's latest tile-based iDrive infotainment system, a freestanding 8.8-inch screen, dynamic damper control, automated emergency braking, cruise control, and a 2.2-inch touchscreen display built into the key fob. When the roof is opened, the i8 Roadster's rear window rises by 1.9 inches into what BMW calls a "comfort" position to reduce wind turbulence. BMW SA expects the new Coupe and Roadster to reach local shores during the second half of 2018.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA
The New BMW i8 Coupe And Roadster Now Have Longer Range And 374 HP

Before we look at the new Roadster, let's jump into the guts of this newly-updated i8.

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. The electric range is now claimed to be 53 kilometres.

That, according to BMW, is enough to get you from zero to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds in the case of the Roadster, with the Coupe taking 4.4s, and remember that the i8 is a lot lighter than BMW's regular cars, thanks largely to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell construction. Having said that, at 18 miles instead of 15, the maximum electric range is only mildly improved. A full recharge via the 3.6kW BMW i Wallbox takes under three hours. To make the soft top possible, BMW had to come up with a new design for its frameless gullwing doors, which are made of CFRP, just like the entire windscreen frame and body panels including the side skirts with their extra-large cross-sections. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). As mentioned above, we hope you still like the design. The Giga and Halo interior trim options remain available and a new Tera World Copper has been added.

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