374hp BMW i8 Roadster unveiled

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants. Pricing will be announced closer to that date.

The addition of the soft-top roof has resulted in a weight increase of 60 kilos over the coupe. The Coupe can go from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds while the Roadster takes just a tick longer at 4.4.

A boost of power to 369 horsepower means zero-to-100 km/h times now dwell in 4.6-second area for the Roadster, and around 4.4 for the coupe.

BMW has finally revealed the production-spec i8 Roadster at the ongoing LA motor show, five years after the original concept had been showcased at the 2012 Beijing motor show.

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Electric driving range is now up to 34 miles for the Coupe and 33 for the Roadster, and thanks to lifts in the upper speed limits the motor can sustain, you can now drive at up to 62mph on electric power in hybrid mode, up from 43mph before. Pressing the eDrive button increases all-electric top speed to 120 km/h (75 mph).

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

The all-wheel-drive i8 is powered by a combination of a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder combustion engine and two electric motors, with one dedicated to the front wheels. Both cars benefit from gentle visual and mechanical upgrades, including an improved plug-in drivetrain with a bigger EV range and higher system power outputs too.

Inside, the 2019 BMW i8 gets the latest version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen.

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.

In Roadster guise, this allows the i8 to complete the sprint from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds, while the Coupe manages it in 4.2 seconds. However, the Coupe retains hatchback cargo space and rear seats, while the Roadster only offers two seats.

If you really want to make sure your new i8 sticks out from the pack, you have to go with the new Roadster. 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.

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