BMW i8 Roadster adds open-top thrills to Munich's plug-in sports auto

2017 LA Auto Show BMW i8 finally takes its top off

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

After the endless delay, the Bavarian carmaker has finally revealed the open-top i8 hybrid sports vehicle at the 2017 Los Angeles Motor Show.

After a steady drip feed of teasers, leaks and spy shots, BMW has officially unveiled the i8 Roadster, along with an updated i8 Coupe. That said, for safety and longevity reasons, the usable capacity of only 9.4 kWh, which is enough to give the BMW i8 Coupe an electric range of 55 km (34 miles) in the NEDC cycle, while the slightly more cumbersome i8 Roadster can be driven in electric mode for up to 53 km (33 miles).

In real world conditions BMW says the i8 should average around 56 to the gallon around town and 40mpg on a run. "If you're playing in that segment with the very expensive cars, it's always [that] you have to have the newest one".

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The BMW i8 Roadster gets two new exterior colours; E-Copper and Donnington Grey. BMW sold 2,265 i8s in the 2015, the first full year the auto was available.

Other changes include new front seats, revised interior trim options, and "Coupe" or "Roadster" badging around the C-pillar. The battery pack is upgraded to 11.6kWh over 7.1kWh.

The roof can be opened and closed at speeds up to 50kph in 15 seconds, and its aluminium framework has been produced using 3D printing.

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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. 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 new BMW i8 Roadster accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Both are electronically limited to a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Both cars can reach a top speed of 155mph. And what Honda has cooked up is a proper supercar priced not a whole lot higher than an i8 Coupe. The stylish 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels come as standard. Pressing the eDrive button increases all-electric top speed to 120 km/h (75 mph). BMW claims that the battery provides up to 53km and 55km of pure electric range for the Roadster and Coupe respectively.

Both the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe will be go on sale in the spring.

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