BMW i8 Roadster FINALLY arrives - and there's a new i8 Coupe too

2019 BMW I8 Roadster And Coupe 07

After a multitude of spy photos and various teasers over the last few months, the BMW i8 Roadster 2018 has finally been unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show. The lithium-ion battery cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah. BMW SA expects the new Coupe and Roadster to reach local shores during the second half of 2018.

Power for the i8 Roadster and i8 Coupe comes from a reworked version of the plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid driveline used by the existing i8 Coupe - the LifeDrive architecture as it is labeled by BMW.

Both the coupe (grey pictured above and below) and the new roadster version (orange pictured above and below) are equipped with the same powertrain, but their form factors result in slightly different performance. Now rated at 105kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels.

BMW says that they have made improvements to their carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic technology that found its way into the new models. 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. While the Coupe is a tenth faster to 62mph than the old one, at 4.4 seconds, the Roadster drops two tenths on that as it labours just that little bit harder to get its mass moving off the line. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour for both cars.

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Inside, the cabin gets an updated steering wheel, a multifunction instrument display and an 8.8-inch freestanding touch screen. The Roadster's fuel consumption suffers more next to the coupe, but then it still records 134.5mpg on the combined cycle.

When the roof is opened, the i8 Roadster's rear window rises by 1.9 inches into what BMW calls a "comfort" position to reduce wind turbulence. That inline three, six speed engine in turbocharged to output an impressive 228 horsepower.

Components on the new i8 Roadster's convertible roof mechanism are made out of aluminum using a new 3D printing process. The new 20-inch alloy wheels that come with the auto shave off 1kg each over the previous seen on the vehicle.

The interior of the 2019 BMW i8 sees design changes for infotainment and driver information screens. Inside there's also a Tera World Copper with E-Copper trim.

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