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BMW's all-new i8 Roadster makes LA debut
30 November 2017, 01:03 | Yvette Williams
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range
BMW has yet to reveal the two cars' curb weights, but they can't be that far apart, as the chunkier i8 is just 0.2 seconds slower to 60 miles per hour, and only gets one mile less on battery power than the i8 Coupe.
The hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive set-up sees the petrol engine driving the rear wheels while the electricmotor does its business upfront.
The addition of the soft-top roof has resulted in a weight increase of 60 kilos over the coupe.
BMW has not released any information about pricing for either the new roadster or the new version of the coupe, but the latter used to start at $135,000. When retracted, the soft-top folds into a compact package and stows away in a perpendicular position, creating around 100 liters of storage space behind the seats.
Getting back to the main attraction here, the i8 two-seat Roadster has an electrically-operated targa-style fabric top that can perform the open or close trick in under 16 seconds, at speeds of up to 50km/h. The lithium-ion battery cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah. The rear window doubles as a wind deflector can also be closed or opened independently without the roof.
2018 BMW i8 Roadster adds open-top thrills to Munich's plug-in sports car
However, both have an improved electric range - the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only, while the Roadster can do 53km. Output has been increased along with it: Total system horsepower is up 12 to 369, thanks to boosted power on the electric side of the powertrain. Now rated at 105kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels. When we say this beast is packing a 1.5-litre engine it might not sound impressive but bare with us.
While the 2019 i8 Coupe keeps its 2+2 configuration, the new BMW i8 Roadster is a 2-seater, meant for the enjoyment of its driver and one lucky passenger. Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants. And like the coupe, the i8 Roadster boasts upward-swinging "gullwing" doors that further emphasize this a sports auto as not just another innovative vehicle, but rather art on wheels.
Electric-only range is up to 18 miles - a gain of 3 miles.
Components on the new i8 Roadster's convertible roof mechanism are made out of aluminum using a new 3D printing process. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The Giga and Halo interior trim options remain available and a new Tera World Copper has been added.
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