New 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe Revealed

Allan Goodman
November 30, 2017

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. The open-top i8 carries forward all the hardware of the i8 Coupe along with the design language.

The 2019 i8 Roadster doesn't look that different from the coupe, other than the different top and the fact that the two rear seats have been removed.

BMW has also upgraded the battery pack for both new models, raising capacity to 11.6kWh up from the previous i8's 7.1kWh. Also included is new technology such as BMW's controversial "display key" as well as the latest iDrive infotainment system.

The new i8 features an aluminium body supporting a carbon fibre reinforced passenger cell and under the skin the i8's electronics have been given a boost with battery capacity increased by 14Ah to 34Ah.

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). Top speed remains limited at 155 miles per hour in true German fashion.

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Total output is up from 266kW to 275kW, with the i8's three-cylinder petrol engine remaining at 170kW. (320 Nm) of torque as the existing unit, with drive channeled through a 6-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. Improved efficiency measures give the BMW i8 an expected MPGe of 70 and BMW believes that the Roadster will retain that same fuel efficiency. The all-electric roof opens and closes at a touch of a button in 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 50kmph. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2018 i8 coupe starts at $144,395. This allows for geometric parts that can not be cast for the optimum strength and size to be used, balancing weight with rigidity requirements.

BMW made the 2019 i8 greener than the current one by putting a bigger emphasis on pure electric drive. New color schemes being offered include E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic, both with Frozen Grey metallic accents.

Bespoke 20-inch alloys feature, which weigh in 1kg lighter per corner than those on the last i8. Also aiding rigidity on the Roadster are additional panels in the suspension and special front and rear struts.

The interior of the 2019 BMW i8 sees design changes for infotainment and driver information screens. The range for driving in electric mode has been increased to 33 miles in the Roadster and 34 miles in the Coupe.

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