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BMW unveils new i8 Roadster and Coupe with more electric range

30 November, 2017, 13:54 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • 2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

Since its introduction in 2014, the i8 has been the world's best selling hybrid sports auto, but for the 2019 model year the i8 gets some nice performance upgrades and the addition of the roadster.

After a steady drip feed of teasers, leaks and spy shots, BMW has officially unveiled the i8 Roadster, along with an updated i8 Coupe. Electric-only range is up almost 50 per cent says BMW, with up to 34 miles achievable.

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. "If you're playing in that segment with the very expensive cars, it's always [that] you have to have the newest one". BMW sold 2,265 i8s in the U.S.in 2015, the first full year the vehicle was available. Unlike the i8 coupe, which is a 2+2, the Roadster is strictly a two-seater.

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).

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. This allows for a 12-hp bump in peak power from the front electric motor, bringing its output to 141 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The 2019 i8 can travel 18 miles, up from 15 miles with the old battery.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA
2018 BMW i8 Roadster adds open-top thrills to Munich's plug-in sports car

The most important announcement is without a doubt the addition of the i8 Roadster.

The F90 BMW M5 will be arriving in US showrooms in spring 2018 with an MSRP of $102,600 plus $995 Destination and Handling.

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.

BMW confirms its open-top i brand model receives newly designed seats, an updated head-up display as well a range of new trim options, including carbon-fiber elements on the dashboard and ceramic controls within the center console.

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. BMW says the extra weight in the Roadster hasn't affected its ability to hit its top speed of 250km/h. The stylish 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels come as standard. The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and coupe both go on sale next spring.


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