I've always been a fan of the somewhat controversial design of the BMW i8 and I still am with this new version and especially with what they did with the new roadster.
Since its introduction in 2014, the i8 has been the world's best selling hybrid sports vehicle, but for the 2019 model year the i8 gets some nice performance upgrades and the addition of the roadster. For reference, an i8 Coupe starts at $144,395 today. BMW has been teasing this model for quite some time, but we finally get the chance to see it uncovered. The soft-top roof, made up of a large fabric panel and integrated header rails, is claimed to open in just 15 seconds at speeds of up to 50kph.
This battery boosting has meant that more power can be directed to the electric motor, bumping it by 12 horsepower to 141 horses in all (105 kW) and 184 pound-feet (249 Nm) of torque.
That, according to BMW, is enough to get you from zero to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds in the case of the Roadster, with the Coupe taking 4.4s, and remember that the i8 is a lot lighter than BMW's regular cars, thanks largely to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell construction. Both possess a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour (249 km/h).
After a steady drip feed of teasers, leaks and spy shots, BMW has officially unveiled the i8 Roadster, along with an updated i8 Coupe.
The unladen weight of the i8 Roadster stands at 3513 lbs., making it some 132 lbs. heavier than the Coupe. 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.
On sale in the New Year and priced from Â£124,730 the new i8 Roadster will be joined by a revised i8 Coupe costing from Â£112,730 - an increase of some Â£6,000 over the current model.
Speaking of the battery, its capacity rises from 7.1 to 11.6kWh. The electric motor is good for 105kW and pure EV range is quoted at 28km. The 8.8-inch free-standing iDrive system now gets an option of touchscreen control. A tiny, turbocharged aluminum rattlebox of an engine powered the i8's rear wheels and an electric motor churned the front for all-wheel drive excellence.
Options on both models include head-up display, laser high beam system, and an acoustic pedestrian warning system, which operates at speeds up to 30km/h when the auto is operating in electric-only mode.