BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range
30 November, 2017, 13:53 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
Together with the turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder from before, the total output of the BMW i8, now called the i8 Coupe, and the i8 Roadster is 374 horsepower, but with no effect on acceleration or top speed figures.
When it was shown as a concept - then called the i8 Spyder - it was unclear just what sort of roof it would have; now we know it gets a folding ragtop that tucks out of sight without eating up too much cargo space. The result is a noticeable increase in dynamic performance, operating range and the amount of driving possible using purely the electric drive system.
Both the 2019 i8 Roadster and the updated 2019 i8 Coupe will be available beginning spring 2018; stay tuned for pricing information.
Like the i8 Coupe - first launched in 2014 - the i8 Roadster has dihedral doors which open upwards and outwards but comes with a fabric roof that can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph opening and closing in 16 seconds at the touch of a button.
As before, the electric motor is mated to a 1.5-litre petrol engine which drives the rear wheels making the i8 all-wheel-drive with a six-speed steptronic automatic transmission.
From an aesthetic point of view, it retains numerous familiar features of the i8 Coupe, which also takes advantage of the California motor show to undergo a bit of a refresh itself.
The biggest upgrade to the powertrain is a new 11.6 kWh battery pack up from the 7 kWh battery pack of the original BMW i8 and a slightly more powerful motor (12 more hp).
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. Reaching 60 miles per hour in the coupe takes 4.2 seconds, while the roadster is slightly slower at 4.4 seconds, but both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.
The i8 Roadster will have exclusive 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels in radial-spoke style, lowering wheel weight by about 2.2 pounds versus the other wheels offered on the i8. Both cars are electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.
In addition, BMW used carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to build the windscreen frame.
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 new E-Copper finish and the striking Donington Gray shade have also been added to the range.
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