Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants.
BMW has officially revealed a long-awaited soft-top variant of its i8 hybrid supercar, which joins an upgraded version of the standard Coupe. Pricing will be announced closer to that date. BMW has been teasing this model for quite some time, but we finally get the chance to see it uncovered. Styling-wise, it looks very similar to the coupé but features many individual highlights, beginning with the electrically operated soft-top roof which fully retracts into the rear end for a targa look.
This equates to a slightly slower 0-100kmh time of 4.6 seconds (i8 Coupe 4.5 secs).
After a steady drip feed of teasers, leaks and spy shots, BMW has officially unveiled the i8 Roadster, along with an updated i8 Coupe.
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While the coupe can seat four people in a pinch, the roadster is purely a two-seat proposition.
Improved efficiency measures give the BMW i8 an expected MPGe of 70 and BMW believes that the Roadster will retain that same fuel efficiency.
Perhaps more importantly though, the battery pack's capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah, with the gross energy capacity going from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours. The electric motor driving the front wheels gets 12bhp more power (now 141bhp) while the 1.5-litre petrol triple driving the rear wheels is unchanged in power (at 228bhp) but is said to sound sportier than before.
Options on both models include head-up display, laser high beam system, and an acoustic pedestrian warning system, which operates at speeds up to 30km/h when the vehicle is operating in electric-only mode.
Before we look at the new Roadster, let's jump into the guts of this newly-updated i8. If you really want to make sure your new i8 sticks out from the pack, you have to go with the new Roadster.
However, both have an improved electric range - the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only, while the Roadster can do 53km. A six-speed automatic transmission runs the engine's power to the rear wheels while the electric motor has a two-speed automatic gearbox turning the front wheels. The new E-Copper finish and the striking Donington Gray shade have also been added to the range.