BMW i8 Roadster 2018 - hybrid sports auto gets even more appeal

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Together with the turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder from before, the total output of the BMW i8, now called the i8 Coupe, and the i8 Roadster is 374 horsepower, but with no effect on acceleration or top speed figures.

After a steady drip feed of teasers, leaks and spy shots, BMW has officially unveiled the i8 Roadster, along with an updated i8 Coupe.

The unladen weight of the i8 Roadster stands at 3513 lbs., making it some 132 lbs. heavier than the Coupe.

Since both models are essentially a mid-cycle facelift, despite the Roadster not having a predecessor, both the exterior and the interior have been updated. Plus both the i8 coupe and roadster can travel up to 18 miles in EV mode. But BMW was able to optimize its eDrive tech to get more power and range out of the auto. The all-electric roof opens and closes at a touch of a button in 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 50kmph.

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.

The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe go on sale in spring of 2018. It's cell capacity is increased from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, boosting energy capacity from 7.1 kWh to 11.6, giving it a net energy capacity of 9.4 kWh (usable).

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Performance is increased with 0 to 60 miles per hour taking just 4.4 seconds for the Roadster and 4.2 seconds in the revised Coupe. Both variants get a head-up display, heated seats, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and three driving modes (Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro) as standard.

"The higher percentage [of sales] will be in the roadster, definitely", said Robert Irlinger, head of BMW i.

In terms of design, the i8 Roadster differentiates itself from the Coupe by using new black panels overlaid with aluminium trims (etched with the word "Roadster") instead of the rear side windows.

In addition, BMW used carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to build the windscreen frame.

There are two new colors for the 2019 i8: E-Copper and Donington Grey. 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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