Better late than never: The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster is finally here

Kelley Robertson
November 30, 2017

Since its introduction in 2014, the i8 has been the world's best selling hybrid sports vehicle, but for the 2019 model year the i8 gets some nice performance upgrades and the addition of the roadster.

BMW tell us the Roadster's soft-top will open or close in around 15 seconds and at travelling speed up to 50 km/h.

These numbers mean that while Elon Musk's new Tesla Roadster can promise a 0-60 run in 1.9 seconds, the i8 family remains on the conservative side with a time of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe, and 4.4 for the Roadster.

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

Both cars also get 70 miles per-gallon equivalent according to BMW.

BMW i8 Roadster

No word yet on Australian availability or pricing, we will keep you updated. The soft-top can be stowed back in a cavity behind the seats in a perpendicular position. Its cell capacity is up from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, while the gross energy capacity has been increased from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh.

BMW claims the Roadster is capable of hitting 100kph from a standstill in 4.6 seconds, while the i8 Coupe facelift does the same in 4.4 seconds. Both Roadster and Coupe receive significant connectivity updates, too, including support for BMW Connected Services, which includes smartphone integration and intelligent route planning, plus real-time traffic and parking information updates. However, BMW says the engine now sounds better.

BMW has also had a fiddle with the glasshouse, beefing up the windscreen and quarter window and turning the rear window in to a deflector which can be raised or lowered wherever you have the roof. Of course it is also coupled with the electric drive system at 141 hp that brings that total power output to a respectable 369 horsepower.

On sale in the New Year and priced from £124,730 the new i8 Roadster will be joined by a revised i8 Coupe costing from £112,730 - an increase of some £6,000 over the current model. The exterior upgrades are less visible, but the interior gets a new steering wheel, new upholstery, and an 8.8-inch freestanding touchscreen. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder gasoline engine is still present putting out 230bhp. 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.

The roof is stored where the rear seats used to be but the Roadster still has storage around the roof box and its boot is bigger than the Coupe's.


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