IT&Software

BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe debut in LA

BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe debut in LA

The liftback tailgate of the i8 Coupe also makes way for a lengthy engine cover on the i8 Roadster.

BMW unveiled the i8 Roadster on Wednesday, ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. With sleek, concept vehicle looks and a forward-thinking powertrain design, the i8 proved to be a sensation.

The all-wheel-drive i8 is powered by a combination of a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder combustion engine and two electric motors, with one dedicated to the front wheels.

Both i8 models will be supplied with "mode 2" cables that allow a full charge to be achieved in under 4.5 hours from the mains, while "mode 3" cables for connecting to public charging points are also included.

To accommodate the new roof, BMW has modified the windshield, providing it with a strengthened frame and beefed up quarter windows. Located in the car's underbody, underneath the passenger cabin, the battery provides the i8 with a low center of gravity. Its cell capacity is up from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, while the gross energy capacity has been increased from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh.

Both models sport an updated powertrain system, whose electric bit now delivers a 12 horsepower increase in peak output to 143 horsepower.

2018 BMW i8 Roadster 19 830x553

This equates to a slightly slower 0-100kmh time of 4.6 seconds (i8 Coupe 4.5 secs). Those lighter of foot can cruise up to around 18 miles in all-electric mode. Power to the rear wheels continues to be transmitted through a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor on the front axle uses a 2-speed gearbox. That figure is down from the 76 MPGe of the current i8, but impressive nevertheless.

BMW has just taken the wraps of its latest generation of hybrid i8 supercar in the form of the new i8 Roadster. The soft-top can be stowed back in a cavity behind the seats in a perpendicular position. For reference, an i8 Coupe starts at $144,395 today. This allows for geometric parts that can not be cast for the optimum strength and size to be used, balancing weight with rigidity requirements. The new E-Copper finish and the striking Donington Gray shade have also been added to the range.

The Roadster further benefits from a specialized rear window.

The interior of the 2019 BMW i8 sees design changes for infotainment and driver information screens.

It's been a great addition to the BMW range, now the i8 will welcome a second variant - a roadster.


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