Los Angeles Auto Show: Drop-Top BMW i8 Roadster Revealed

30 November, 2017, 13:03 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • 2018 BMW i8 Roadster 30 830x553

To accommodate the new roof, BMW has modified the windshield, providing it with a strengthened frame and beefed up quarter windows.

The unchanged 170kW/320Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine drives the rear wheels.

Standard features on both the coupe and roadster include a fast charging cable, the Professional satellite navigation system, the company's latest tile-based iDrive infotainment system, a freestanding 8.8-inch screen, dynamic damper control, automated emergency braking, cruise control, and a 2.2-inch touchscreen display built into the key fob.

BMW says the all-electric roof opens and closes "very quietly" in 15 seconds, at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). The soft-top can be stowed back in a cavity behind the seats in a perpendicular position.

It's been a great addition to the BMW range, now the i8 will welcome a second variant - a roadster. The battery pack capacity has been improved, from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt-hours.

2018 BMW i8 Roadster 19 830x553

The powertrain sees a 12 horsepower increase over the previous version, with a total output of 369 hp (141 hp from the electric motors and 228 hp from the combustion engine).

Official NEDC test cycle fuel economy averages - the ones that bear no relevance to the real world - put the Coupe's economy at 148.7 miles per gallon and the Roadster's at 134.5mpg.

While the 2019 i8 Coupe keeps its 2+2 configuration, the new BMW i8 Roadster is a 2-seater, meant for the enjoyment of its driver and one lucky passenger. Ivory white leather upholstery rounds out the cabins of both models, while the Roadster adds a black option. Now rated at 105kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels.

Not that they were much use, but the rear side windows are ditched in the Roadster (it's a two-seater), as is the liftback which turns in to a rather long engine cover, and the interior gets a bit of a makeover (as does that in the 2018 Coupe). Both cars are electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.

Convertibles require more chassis strengthening than coupes, so the Roadster understandably is heavier - though we don't know by how much. 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.




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