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New BMW i8 Roadster Gets Official

30 November 2017

The world's highest selling plug-in hybrid sports vehicle has had a haircut, subbing the standard roof for a soft-top design.

MOTOR will report BMW i8 Coupe and Roadster Australian availability and pricing when it is confirmed by BMW Australia. In order to accommodate the Roadster's new folding roof mechanism, BMW has had to strengthen the car's bodywork, meaning it weighs 60kg more than the Coupe. The result is a noticeable increase in dynamic performance, operating range and the amount of driving possible using purely the electric drive system.

Irlinger wouldn't reveal how BMW expects the mix to break down, but it is counting on the new roadster and face-lifted coupe to lift overall i8 sales significantly. The electric motors now produce 105kW/143bhp and can drive the auto to 105kmph on pure battery power which can be increased to 120kmph at a push of a (eDrive) button.

The Roadster's soft-top is all-electric and opens in 15 seconds at a button's push while traveling up to 31 miles per hour.

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.

BMW i8 Facelift 12 830x553
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range

BMW chose to equip i8 Roadster with only two-seats in order to make more room for the vehicle's power-operated soft top.

I've always been a fan of the somewhat controversial design of the BMW i8 and I still am with this new version and especially with what they did with the new roadster.

Another change to the powertrain is the new lithium-ion battery that now boasts a cell capacity of 34Ah (up from 20Ah) and an energy capacity of 11.6kW (up from 7.1kW). The electric motor is good for 105kW and pure EV range is quoted at 28km. The difference we are talking about is the fact that the 2019 BMW i8 features a 2+2 seating arrangement while the i8 Roadster is a two-seater.

These numbers mean that while Elon Musk's new Tesla Roadster can promise a 0-60 run in 1.9 seconds, the i8 family remains on the conservative side with a time of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe, and 4.4 for the Roadster. Both cars can reach a top speed of 155mph.

In addition, BMW used carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to build the windscreen frame. The Giga and Halo interior trim options remain available and a new Tera World Copper has been added.

New BMW i8 Roadster Gets Official