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30 November 2017, 01:01 | Sam Montgomery
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range
The 2019 models squeeze 18 miles of pure EV range out of the vehicle thanks to the new 11.6kWh battery pack.
Now, five years on, the open roof is back with the debut of the i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Motor Show (although not the see-through doors), with a new tweaked and mildly titivated i8 Coupe alongside. The open-top i8 carries forward all the hardware of the i8 Coupe along with the design language.
Inside, the i8 Coupe's 2+2 configuration is eschewed in favor of a two-seat layout for the i8 Roadster, which features a claimed 3.2 cu. -ft. BMW SA expects the new Coupe and Roadster to reach local shores during the second half of 2018. Also included is new technology such as BMW's controversial "display key" as well as the latest iDrive infotainment system. Located in the car's underbody, underneath the passenger cabin, the battery provides the i8 with a low center of gravity. The battery pack is upgraded to 11.6kWh over 7.1kWh. All that adds up to a 0-60 miles per hour time of 4.4 seconds, placing it just behind the seat-toting i8 Coupe which does it in 4.2 seconds. Top speed of both cars is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour. When we say this beast is packing a 1.5-litre engine it might not sound impressive but bare with us. Power to the rear wheels continues to be transmitted through a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the electricmotor on the front axle uses a 2-speed gearbox. Improved efficiency measures give the BMW i8 an expected MPGe of 70 and BMW believes that the Roadster will retain that same fuel efficiency. The stowage solution means that the i8 Roadster actually benefits from increased storage space.
The Roadster gains 60kg over the coupe, mainly on account of the reworked chassis that allows for the folding roof. 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 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 new E-Copper finish and the striking Donington Gray shade have also been added to the range. Other aesthetic changes include two new colour options, laser headlights and redesigned 20-inch alloy wheels. Also aiding rigidity on the Roadster are additional panels in the suspension and special front and rear struts.
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