BMW i8 Roadster unveiled alongside Coupe update

BMW i8 Roadster

The wait is finally over for the latest version of BMW's hybrid sports auto.

After a steady drip feed of teasers, leaks and spy shots, BMW has officially unveiled the i8 Roadster, along with an updated i8 Coupe. In order to accommodate the Roadster's new folding roof mechanism, BMW has had to strengthen the car's bodywork, meaning it weighs 60kg more than the Coupe. Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants. It looks cooler (because convertibles always look cooler) and the electric convertible soft top opens in under 16 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles per-hour according to BMW.

The two-seat drop-top has been shown alongside a facelift for the i8 Coupe; both models share almost everything from the 374hp hybrid powertrain and new design to the interiors and features. The automaker claims the number of driving situations where the electric motor is exclusively responsible for powering the auto has been significantly increased, with the combustion engine only being brought into play when accelerating hard. Furthermore, the soft top can be opened in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph.

As with the previous i8, the new model comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, which remarkably produces 228 horsepower and 236 pound feet of torque, driving the rear wheels.

The refreshed i8 and new i8 Roadster should be hitting Canadian dealerships around spring 2018.

BMW i8 Roadster

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.

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

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).

In Germany, the basic price for the new BMW M5 was announced at 117,900 euros, but it can quickly climb a few tens of thousands with additional options and packages. The iconic gullwing doors have also been retained. However, with an optional M Driver's Package, that top speed increases to 189 miles per hour. New color schemes being offered include E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic, both with Frozen Grey metallic accents.

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