BMW i8 Coupe Gets a Roadster Brother and More Electric Range

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

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.

They're finally here: the BMW i8 Roadster and the BMW i8 Coupe, both updated and hitting the market next year.

BMW says the all-electric roof opens and closes "very quietly" in 15 seconds, at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

Performance is increased with 0 to 60 miles per hour taking just 4.4 seconds for the Roadster and 4.2 seconds in the revised Coupe.

While combined fuel consumption jumps 0.2L/100km to 2.1L/100km.

The BMW i8 Roadster was long awaited since BMW showcased the i8 Spyder Concept back in 2012.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

The new i8 features an aluminium body supporting a carbon fibre reinforced passenger cell and under the skin the i8's electronics have been given a boost with battery capacity increased by 14Ah to 34Ah.

The BMW i8 has been on sale now since 2014. Both Roadster and Coupe receive significant connectivity updates, too, including support for BMW Connected Services, which includes smartphone integration and intelligent route planning, plus real-time traffic and parking information updates. When the roof is opened, the i8 Roadster's rear window rises by 1.9 inches into what BMW calls a "comfort" position to reduce wind turbulence. In addition, it can be driven on electric power alone at speeds of up to 105 km/h (65 mph), up from 70 km/h (43 mph) in the original i8. The 8.8-inch free-standing iDrive system now gets an option of touchscreen control. That allows for a 9-kW/12-hp increase of the electric motor's peak output, which is now 105 kW (143 hp).

The 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine is said to produce a sportier soundtrack but continues to deliver 231 hp and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque.

Irlinger wouldn't reveal how BMW expects the mix to break down, but it is counting on the new roadster and face-lifted coupe to lift overall i8 sales significantly.

The design of the coupe remains fairly unchanged from the nearly 4-year-old version, but the open-top roadster is the new long-awaited version of the plug-in vehicle. A six-speed automatic transmission runs the engine's power to the rear wheels while the electric motor has a two-speed automatic gearbox turning the front wheels.

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