Here Are The New, More Capable BMW i8 Coupe And Roadster

BMW takes covers off i8 Roadster

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

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.

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. The sides skirts are also made of CFRP, with the i8 Roadster also featuring additional struts and panels in the front and rear axles for increased rigidity. In the US, i8 sales are down 72 percent through the first 10 months of 2017, with just 364 sold.

The biggest upgrade to the powertrain is a new 11.6 kWh battery pack up from the 7 kWh battery pack of the original BMW i8 and a slightly more powerful motor (12 more hp). The rear window, which doubles as a wind deflector, also is altered, allowing it to be closed or opened separately from the roof. Thanks to an improved high-voltage battery the i8 can now cover a claimed 55km on electric power alone, although you'd be lucky to get even close to that in real world driving.

The new BMW i8 makes a run to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, though BMW admits the Roadster is two tenths slower. Top speed of both cars is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.

While the coupe can seat four people in a pinch, the roadster is purely a two-seat proposition.

The unladen weight of the i8 Roadster stands at 3513 lbs., making it some 132 lbs. heavier than the Coupe.

The hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive set-up sees the petrol engine driving the rear wheels while the electric motor does its business upfront.

However, both have an improved electric range - the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only, while the Roadster can do 53km. (249 Nm) of torque as in today's i8 Coupe via a 2-speed gearbox to the front wheels. The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and coupe both go on sale next spring. Additionally, in Comfort or Eco Pro mode, the i8 can be driven on electricity alone at speeds up to 75 miles per hour.

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.

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