Better late than never: The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster is finally here

Leigh Mccormick
November 30, 2017

This means 0-60 miles per hour (0-92 k/h) times of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe and 4.4 seconds for the Roadster, BMW says.

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

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. For starters, the thanks to the i8's light, strong and rigid carbonfibre tub construction the soft top i8 is only 60kg heavier than the Coupe at 1595kg.

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. The all-electric roof opens and closes at a touch of a button in 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 50kmph. The fabric roof contains additional soundproofing, according to BMW, and is stowed in a perpendicular position in the rear to take up as little space as possible. The open-top two-seater will join a freshened version of the i8 coupe also going on sale in the spring.

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).

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In terms of style, the Roadster ditches the rear side windows.

The design of the coupe remains fairly unchanged from the nearly 4-year-old version, but the open-top roadster is the new long-awaited version of the plug-in vehicle. BMW claims that the battery provides up to 53km and 55km of pure electric range for the Roadster and Coupe respectively. That almost doubles the amount of storage available in the Roadster versus the i8 Coupe.

For those not up-to-date with BMWs nomenclature and model lineup, we are talking about the i8 facelift, which is also getting a much-awaited Roadster version. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

The two-seat drop-top has been shown alongside a facelift for the i8 Coupe; both models share almost everything from the 374hp hybrid powertrain and new design to the interiors and features.

It sure looks tempting in this new hue, called E-Copper.

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