BMW debuts its i8 Roadster for top-down green driving

BMW debuts its i8 Roadster for top-down green driving

BMW finally took the covers off of the production i8 Roadster late November, revealing a droptop version of the auto and that both coupe and convertible now come with more power and greater range.

For those not up-to-date with BMWs nomenclature and model lineup, we are talking about the i8 facelift, which is also getting a much-awaited Roadster version.

In addition to the open-top i8, BMW also revealed details of the updated i8 Coupe, which will have an increased electric range of 34 miles. Of course this is the first major change over the coupe as this mechanical roof means the i8 Roadster has no back seats.

Well you won't be able to run the automatic roof back too fast as this is limited to operation at 31 miles per hour and under plus it takes 16 seconds to fully open or close.

As before, the electric motor is mated to a 1.5-litre petrol engine which drives the rear wheels making the i8 all-wheel-drive with a six-speed steptronic automatic transmission.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

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. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2018 i8 coupe starts at $144,395. The battery pack is upgraded to 11.6kWh over 7.1kWh.

The powertrain sees a 12 horsepower increase over the previous version, with a total output of 369 hp (141 hp from the electric motors and 228 hp from the combustion engine).

Also new is BMW's latest 360° electric charging system.

BMW has revised the windscreen by providing it with a strengthened frame and beefed-up quarter windows in order to accommodate the new folding roof.

That, according to BMW, is enough to get you from zero to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds in the case of the Roadster, with the Coupe taking 4.4s, and remember that the i8 is a lot lighter than BMW's regular cars, thanks largely to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell construction. 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. New color schemes being offered include E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic, both with Frozen Grey metallic accents. The Giga and Halo interior trim options remain available and a new Tera World Copper has been added.

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