BMW's all-new i8 Roadster makes LA debut

BMW updated its eDrive technology for the 2019 i8 lineup increasing horsepower to 369

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. Its cell capacity has risen from a previous 20 Ah to 34 Ah, with energy capacity increasing from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh.

For now the auto has merely been unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show - there's still no information as to when the new i8 Roadster goes on sale in the United Kingdom, or what it might cost.

BMW finally took the covers off of the production i8 Roadster late November, revealing a droptop version of the vehicle and that both coupe and convertible now come with more power and greater range.

The long-awaited i8 Roadster will go on sale alongside an updated version of the two-plus-two i8 coupe early next year.

Both can be ordered with Tera World Copper interior trim, which is new to the i8, and features a cloth and leather upholstery combination in a two-tone (Amido/E-Copper) colour scheme.

BMW claims a 0-62 miles per hour (100 km/h) time of 4.6 seconds for the i8 Roadster, with the i8 Coupe's time pegged at 4.4 seconds. (249 Nm) of torque as in today's i8 Coupe via a 2-speed gearbox to the front wheels.

As expected, the i8 Roadster is heavier than the fixed-roof model, by around 60 kg (132 lb).

BMW says it has improved its technology surrounding the drivetrain of the i8, which now has more power from its electric motor and a longer range. A new aluminum 3D printing process was used to make lightweight parts for the Roadster's roof.

The i8 Roadster will have exclusive 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels in radial-spoke style, lowering wheel weight by about 2.2 pounds versus the other wheels offered on the i8.

It sure looks tempting in this new hue, called E-Copper. Badging on the rear (B) pillars will indicate Coupe or Roadster according to the model chosen.

Like the i8 Coupe, which also sees enhancements for 2019, the all-new BMW i8 Roadster uses a performance-oriented all-wheel drive system in which a turbocharged gasoline engine powers the rear wheels while an electric motor drives the front. 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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