Advertisement

BMW i8 Roadster is officially unveiled alongside updated coupe

BMW’s soft-top plug-in hybrid sports car was officially unveiled at the LA Motor Show and will cost £124,730

After months of speculation, spy shots and teaser images, BMW has finally unveiled the highly anticipated i8 Roadster at this year’s LA Motor Show. Alongside an updated i8 coupe, the Roadster will go on sale summer 2018 with a price tag of £124,730 - £12,000 more than the hardtop.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The petrol-electric hybrid sports car does away with its solid roof and in its place features a fabric soft top. The roof is fully electric and takes 15 seconds to open or close and can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph. It’s Z-shape gives an additional 100 litres of storage space between the roof box and seats. In order to maximise open-top comfort, the rear window rises automatically by 30mm when the roof is retracted; 3D printing was also used in the design of aluminium elements that connect the roof to the car’s body.

Best hybrid cars on sale right now

To compensate for the loss of the fixed roof BMW has fitted the Roadster with bespoke suspension and dampers, while additional body strengthening has added 60kg of weight over the coupe.

The i8 Roadster also gets a power and range boost as a result of improvements to BMW’s eDrive technology. The lithium-ion battery’s cell capacity has increased from 7.1kWh to 11.6kWh, which means the electric motor’s power is boosted by 12bhp to an output of 141bhp. Combined with the 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, the i8 Roadster produces 369bhp and 570Nm of torque. The same powertrain tweaks have been applied to the i8 coupe, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

BMW says the i8 Roadster takes 4.6 seconds to cover 0-62 mph, which is two-tenths down on the coupe. Top speed is 155mph, while in electric drive it’s capable of 75mph flat out. Power is fed through the unconventional four-wheel-drive system, with the engine providing power to the rear wheels while the electric motor provides power to the front.

In electric-only mode, range has been improved from the previous coupe’s 22-mile range to 33 miles, with the new coupe managing slightly more at 34 miles. The new hybrid powertrain is also more efficient capable of 134.5mpg, claims BMW.

The Roadster rides on exclusive 20-inch twin-spoke alloys, with each wheel being one kilogram lighter than alloys on the previous i8. BMW has also fitted non-dazzling laser headlights to the new i8 with a high-beam range of 600 metres, doubling the previous i8’s LED headlight setup.

Connectivity plays an important part in the new i8 Roadster and coupe, with both models compatible with BMW’s Connected smartphone app that controls route planning and charging point notifications. Real time traffic and on-street parking information can be accessed via ConnectedDrive.

A new safety feature is the option of an acoustic pedestrian warning system, which alerts passers-by of the i8’s presence when it’s in EV at up to speeds of 19mph.

Do you like the look of the new BMW i8 Roadster? Let us know what you think of the design below…

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

BMW i8 review
BMW i8 Coupe - front
BMW i8

BMW i8 review

It’s hardly cheap to buy, but the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 offers performance and efficiency
25 Mar 2020
New BMW Vision M NEXT shown at Frankfurt Motor Show
BMW M NEXT Concept - front
BMW i8

New BMW Vision M NEXT shown at Frankfurt Motor Show

The BMW Vision M NEXT hits Frankfurt with 592bhp and an all-electric range of 62 miles
10 Sep 2019
BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition means curtains for the i8
BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition - front
BMW i8

BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition means curtains for the i8

The BMW i8 will be discontinued in April 2020 and to mark the occasion BMW has built a special edition, limited to just 200 units globally
4 Sep 2019

Most Popular

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022
Peugeot 3008

New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022

Peugeot’s next-generation 3008 looks set to receive a radical redesign in two years’ time, evolving into a style-focussed coupe-SUV
13 Jul 2020