BMW i8 Coupe Gets a Roadster Brother and More Electric Range

30 November, 2017, 13:53 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • 2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

The new BMW i8 Roadster has been unveiled alongside the updated BMW i8 Coupe at the 2017 Los Angeles motor show.

BMW has also been able to retain the Coupe's distinctive dihedral doors for the Roadster, designing new frameless units made from carbonfibre and overlaid with an aluminium skin. "If you're playing in that segment with the very expensive cars, it's always [that] you have to have the newest one".

The liftback tailgate of the i8 Coupe also makes way for a lengthy engine cover on the i8 Roadster. However, the 2+2 seating configuration is now changed to a strict two-seater.

Speaking of the battery, its capacity rises from 7.1 to 11.6kWh.

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The auto can switch from a coupe to a roadster in just 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

The hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive set-up sees the petrol engine driving the rear wheels while the electric motor does its business upfront. The electric motor is good for 105kW and pure EV range is quoted at 28km.

Of course you're going to need to make sure you're making some serious cash to afford either version of the i8 with a street price expected to be north of $150,000.

The 2019 i8 coupe is estimated by BMW to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds, and the i8 Roadster is said to hit that speed in 4.4 seconds.

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BMW has not released any information about pricing for either the new roadster or the new version of the coupe, but the latter used to start at $135,000.

Nonetheless, the soft top made the Roadster 132 pounds heavier than the standard model and BMW had to equip it with its own suspension calibration and chassis-stiffening system which calibrates the handling levels.

However, with the system working at full capacity, the performance is much more attractive - it accelerates to 62mph in 4.4 seconds and has a maximum (restricted) speed of 155mph.

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. The automaker claims the number of driving situations where the electric motor is exclusively responsible for powering the vehicle has been significantly increased, with the combustion engine only being brought into play when accelerating hard.

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There are two new colors for the 2019 i8: E-Copper and Donington Grey.

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