Lastly, BMW has also confirmed the i8 Roadster will have a slightly different suspension/steering tune, the Munich-based manufacturer telling us this allows the Roadster to retain the trademark handling and performance qualities.
Since its introduction in 2014, the i8 has been the world's best selling hybrid sports auto, but for the 2019 model year the i8 gets some nice performance upgrades and the addition of the roadster. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2018 i8 coupe starts at $144,395. BMW has been teasing this model for quite some time, but we finally get the chance to see it uncovered.
The soft-top stows away in the back while creating around 100 litres of additional storage space behind the seats, according to BMW. Neither is the acceleration, though the 0-60 miles per hour times now stand at 4.2 seconds for the Coupe and 4.4 seconds for the roadster; 155 miles per hour remains the limited top speed.
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Power on both models has been increased and so has range with the cars now capable of zero emission motoring for up to 34 miles, nearly twice the distance possible on the original i8.
Weight gain over the Coupe is claimed to be just 60kg at 1,594kg, thanks to the i8's carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic and aluminium structure.
BMW made the 2019 i8 greener than the current one by putting a bigger emphasis on pure electric drive.
Both cars are powered by a reworked version of the previous petrol-electric hybrid system. The 8.8-inch free-standing iDrive system now gets an option of touchscreen control. The aggressively attractive new i8 Roadster ought to change that attitude. Beefed-up lithium-ion batteries - they have gone from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh - now offer an electric-only range of up to 33 miles, with speeds up to 75mph possible.
It uses a mid-mounted version of BMW's turbocharged 1.5L 3-cyl. gasoline engine packaged behind the cabin in combination with an electric motor housed within the front axle assembly in a set-up that conceivably can provide either front-wheel drive running on the electric motor or all-wheel drive with the gasoline engine and electric motor working together. 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.