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#LAAUTOSHOW: BMW Reveals A Refreshed i8 And An All New Roadster
30 November 2017, 12:59 | Rudolph Thomas
2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA
The Coupe can go from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds while the Roadster takes just a tick longer at 4.4. "For us, electric mobility is the new normal", said Klaus Frohlich, member of the board of management at BMW AG and development during the BMW press conference. The lithium-ion batteries have received a cell capacity boost that means the electric motor now produces 141bhp, which contributes to a total of 369bhp when the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is taken into account. Styling-wise, it looks very similar to the coupé but features many individual highlights, beginning with the electrically operated soft-top roof which fully retracts into the rear end for a targa look. When retracted, the soft-top folds into a compact package and stows away in a perpendicular position, creating around 100 liters of storage space behind the seats.
Like the i8 Coupe, which also sees enhancements for 2019, the all-new BMW i8 Roadster uses a performance-oriented all-wheel drive system in which a turbocharged gasoline engine powers the rear wheels while an electric motor drives the front.
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. This allows for a 12-hp bump in peak power from the front electric motor, bringing its output to 141 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The electric range is now claimed to be 53 kilometres.
Other new bits in the Roadster's cabin includes freshly designed seats, an optional heads-up display and a a range of new trim options, including carbon-fibre elements for the dashboard and ceramic controls within the centre console.
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range
The long-awaited i8 Roadster will go on sale alongside an updated version of the two-plus-two i8 coupe early next year. The 2019 i8 can travel 18 miles, up from 15 miles with the old battery.
The unladen weight of the i8 Roadster stands at 3513 lbs., making it some 132 lbs. heavier than the Coupe.
The i8 Coupe, which was also showcased at the 2017 LA Auto Show, also gets a facelift for 2018 along with an increase in power. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). 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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