BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

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.

BMW has modified the windscreen as well in order to accommodate the new roof.

It uses a mid-mounted version of BMW's turbocharged 1.5L 3-cyl. gasoline engine packaged behind the cabin in combination with an electric motor housed within the front axle assembly in a set-up that conceivably can provide either front-wheel drive running on the electric motor or all-wheel drive with the gasoline engine and electric motor working together. The i8 Roadster is set to go on sale in the United Kingdom in January, with a price of £124,730, while the updated i8 Coupe will cost £12,000 less.

The vehicle can switch from a coupe to a roadster in just 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

Power on both models has been increased and so has range with the cars now capable of zero emission motoring for up to 34 miles, nearly twice the distance possible on the original i8.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA
2018 BMW i8 Roadster adds open-top thrills to Munich's plug-in sports car

The new i8 features an aluminium body supporting a carbon fibre reinforced passenger cell and under the skin the i8's electronics have been given a boost with battery capacity increased by 14Ah to 34Ah. Opening the roof raises the rear window automatically by around 1.9 inches, but the driver can also adjust the height at the touch of a button. Total power of the plug-in hybrid has increased to 369 horsepower, a 12-horsepower bump over the current system. The automaker claims the number of driving situations where the electric motor is exclusively responsible for powering the auto has been significantly increased, with the combustion engine only being brought into play when accelerating hard.

Inside there are a few changes other than the loss of the two rear seats - you get a new 8.8-inch touchscreen display, upgraded steering wheel and instrument panel as well as some other tweaks to the dashboard.

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. Both are electronically limited to a top speed of 155 miles per hour. On pure electric the new system can run up to 18 miles on pure electric over the previous 15.

The unladen weight of the i8 Roadster stands at 3513 lbs., making it some 132 lbs. heavier than the Coupe. The i8's trademark "gullwing" doors feature on the Roadster as well as returning on the updated i8 coupe.

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

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