Here Are The New, More Capable BMW i8 Coupe And Roadster

Todd Singleton
November 30, 2017

Under the ever-present sunny skies of Los Angeles, BMW unveiled a more scintillating variant of one of its sexiest cars: the 2019 i8 Roadster. Beefed-up lithium-ion batteries - they have gone from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh - now offer an electric-only range of up to 33 miles, with speeds up to 75mph possible.

When the concept of the BMW i8 first arrived, it was a Roadster with see-through doors.

The wait is finally over for the latest version of BMW's hybrid sports auto. Efficiency improvements in the batteries also liberate an extra 12bhp from the electric motor, which powers the front wheels. Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants.

The new BMW i8 makes a run to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, though BMW admits the Roadster is two tenths slower.

Despite hopes that BMW would do something properly interesting with the i8's plug-in hybrid powertrain, it gets a very light makeover.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster rear view on road top down
Is it just us or does this thing look angry from the rear

A boost of power to 369 horsepower means zero-to-100 km/h times now dwell in 4.6-second area for the Roadster, and around 4.4 for the coupe.

Before we look at the new Roadster, let's jump into the guts of this newly-updated i8.

The 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine is said to produce a sportier soundtrack but continues to deliver 231 hp and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque. The combined power output of 369bhp and 570Nm is channelled through a six-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels.

While the coupe can seat four people in a pinch, the roadster is purely a two-seat proposition. A new aluminum 3D printing process was used to make lightweight parts for the Roadster's roof. A Tera World Copper interior trim featuring premium cloth and leather upholstery in an Amido/E-Copper color scheme is new and exclusive to the Roadster. Badging on the rear (B) pillars will indicate Coupe or Roadster according to the model chosen.

More precisely, the new i8 Roadster comes with an electric soft top that opens in under 16 seconds at up to 31 miles per hour, folding away in three segments stacked into a flattened Z. 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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