Friday, 15 December, 2017

BMW i8 Coupe Gets a Roadster Brother and More Electric Range

2018 BMW i8. front 1/8 Fullscreen
Cecilia Poole | 30 November, 2017, 12:32

The open-top BMW i8 Roadster has finally arrived at Los Angeles, joined by an updated i8 Coupe with an updated 369bhp plug-in petrol electric hybrid.

The i8 Roadster comes more than five years after it was originally unveiled as a concept at the 2012 Beijing motor show and two years since a more production-based concept was unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

BMW says it has improved its technology surrounding the drivetrain of the i8, which now has more power from its electric motor and a longer range. "If you're playing in that segment with the very expensive cars, it's always [that] you have to have the newest one".

The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster features an electric soft top that can open in less than 16 seconds and operate at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. In the US, i8 sales are down 72 percent through the first 10 months of 2017, with just 364 sold. Opening the roof raises the rear window automatically by around 1.9 inches, but the driver can also adjust the height at the touch of a button. It's cell capacity is increased from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, boosting energy capacity from 7.1 kWh to 11.6, giving it a net energy capacity of 9.4 kWh (usable). Thanks to an improved high-voltage battery the i8 can now cover a claimed 55km on electric power alone, although you'd be lucky to get even close to that in real world driving. A tiny, turbocharged aluminum rattlebox of an engine powered the i8's rear wheels and an electric motor churned the front for all-wheel drive excellence.

However both have an improved electric range – the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only while the Roadster can do 53km
However both have an improved electric range – the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only while the Roadster can do 53km

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.

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 auto is operating in electric-only mode. Plus both the i8 coupe and roadster can travel up to 18 miles in EV mode. (249 Nm) of torque as in today's i8 Coupe via a 2-speed gearbox to the front wheels. Unlike the i8 coupe, which is a 2+2, the Roadster is strictly a two-seater.

Other than two new colors (E-Copper and Donnington Grey) and a badge behind the doors, the Coupe looks pretty much like its predecessor.

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