BMW i8 Roadster FINALLY arrives - and there's a new i8 Coupe too

Posted November 30, 2017

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.

Taking advantage of the new version of the vehicle being introduced, BMW offers a slight but interesting increase in power.

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

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The roof, which consists of a large fabric-covered panel and integrated header rails, is claimed to open in just 15 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles per hour (50 km/h), providing the i8 Roadster with full open-air properties.

The long talked about roadster features an electric folding soft-top that's stored in a space-saving vertical position. The open-top two-seater will join a freshened version of the i8 coupe also going on sale in the spring.

In terms of style, the Roadster ditches the rear side windows.

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The petrol unit, which is mated to a six-speed automatic, is unchanged in terms of output (231hp and 320Nm) but the electric motor gets about 12hp more, increasing total system output to 374hp. BMW claims that the battery provides up to 53km and 55km of pure electric range for the Roadster and Coupe respectively.

The two-seat drop-top has been shown alongside a facelift for the i8 Coupe; both models share almost everything from the 374hp hybrid powertrain and new design to the interiors and features. The use of composite materials and aluminum helps bring the Roadster's weight to 3,515 pounds, or 132 pounds more than the 2019 i8 coupe. BMW SA expects the new Coupe and Roadster to reach local shores during the second half of 2018.

The 2019 i8 Roadster doesn't look that different from the coupe, other than the different top and the fact that the two rear seats have been removed. The 2019 i8 can travel 18 miles, up from 15 miles with the old battery. That almost doubles the amount of storage available in the Roadster versus the i8 Coupe.

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A boost of power to 369 horsepower means zero-to-100 km/h times now dwell in 4.6-second area for the Roadster, and around 4.4 for the coupe. Mpg has also been improved to 149.8mpg for the Coupe and 134.5mpg for the Roadster, although these numbers are always notoriously hard to replicate in the real world, unless you charge frequently and mainly undertake short journeys.