Tech

374hp BMW i8 Roadster unveiled

374hp BMW i8 Roadster unveiled

It's taken a few years, but BMW has finally released a Roadster version of its futuristic i8 sports auto and the new body style coincides with a few upgrades to the Coupe, including a more powerful drivetrain. In addition to opening and closing in less than 16 seconds, BMW says the i8 Roadster's insulated fabric roof can be operated at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.

Though weight is up by around 60kg over the hard-top variant.

The 2019 i8 coupe is estimated by BMW to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds, and the i8 Roadster is said to hit that speed in 4.4 seconds.

While combined fuel consumption jumps 0.2L/100km to 2.1L/100km.

When the concept of the BMW i8 first arrived, it was a Roadster with see-through doors.

No word yet on Australian availability or pricing, we will keep you updated. Both the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe will be go on sale in the spring.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range

Another stylistic change over the facelifted i8 Coupe is the deletion of the rear side windows.

The lengthy gestation period has seen the first open-top model from BMW's fledgling i brand adopt a re-engineered roof structure.

Both models sport an updated powertrain system, whose electric bit now delivers a 12 horsepower increase in peak output to 143 horsepower. When the roof is opened, the i8 Roadster's rear window rises by 1.9 inches into what BMW calls a "comfort" position to reduce wind turbulence. The dashboard design is shared between the coupe and convertible and features the latest version of BMW's iDrive system that now comes with touch control on the free-standing 8.8-inch monitor. Thanks to an improved high-voltage battery the i8 can now cover a claimed 55km on electric power alone, although you'd be lucky to get even close to that in real world driving. The electric motors now produce 105kW/143bhp and can drive the vehicle to 105kmph on pure battery power which can be increased to 120kmph at a push of a (eDrive) button.

Irlinger wouldn't reveal how BMW expects the mix to break down, but it is counting on the new roadster and face-lifted coupe to lift overall i8 sales significantly.

The engine remains the same award-winning three-cylinder, turbocharged 1.5-liter, producing 228 horsepower (170 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque. Power to the rear wheels continues to be transmitted through a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor on the front axle uses a 2-speed gearbox.

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