BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

2019 BMW i8

Home Auto Shows 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe debut in LA By Marc Carter

BMW took the covers off and the top down on Wednesday as it unveiled the first ever BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show alongside an updated coupe version of the plug-in hybrid supercar.

With the addition of the folding roof mechanism and structural reinforcements, the i8 Roadster weighs 1595 kilograms, or around 60kg more than the coupe model.

The new BMW i8 Roadster and titivated i8 Coupe will go on sale in the United Kingdom early in 2018. When running on pure electric power, drive is sent to the front, though when both motors are running, power is sent to all-four-wheels.

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

The hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive set-up sees the petrol engine driving the rear wheels while the electric motor does its business upfront. The difference we are talking about is the fact that the 2019 BMW i8 features a 2+2 seating arrangement while the i8 Roadster is a two-seater.

The 2019 BMW i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster will enter showrooms globally, starting in the second quarter of 2018.

2019 BMW i8

Thanks to a more powerful electric motor, which is still mated to a 170kW version of BMW's 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine, the BMW i8 now boasts a total system output of 275kW, up from 266kW.

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.

BMW claims a 0-62 miles per hour (100 km/h) time of 4.6 seconds for the i8 Roadster, with the i8 Coupe's time pegged at 4.4 seconds. The power bump comes from a significant boost in energy density, with cell capacity up from 20Ah to 34Ah.

BMW launched its i8, and i brand, as a means of testing future engineering in a production vehicle, but it didn't skip the fun.

Several adaptations had to be made, however, including the use of newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminum outer shell, as well as the windscreen frame made entirely from CFRP. The new E-Copper finish and the striking Donington Gray shade have also been added to the range. Mpg has also been improved to 149.8mpg for the Coupe and 134.5mpg for the Roadster, although these numbers are always notoriously hard to replicate in the real world, unless you charge frequently and mainly undertake short journeys.

Latest News