New 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe Revealed

Bill Rogers
November 30, 2017

The new i8 Roadster model is basically a chop-top version of the i8 Coupe with the rear seats removed in order to make way for the folding rooftop and its mechanism.

MOTOR will report BMW i8 Coupe and Roadster Australian availability and pricing when it is confirmed by BMW Australia.

Convertibles require more chassis strengthening than coupes, so the Roadster understandably is heavier - though we don't know by how much.

In electric-only mode both models can reach speeds of up to 65mph - 75mph when the eDrive boost mode is engaged - and to help on the eco front the engine is now fitted with a particulate filter to cut emissions. The result is a noticeable increase in dynamic performance, operating range and the amount of driving possible using purely the electric drive system. The automaker claims the number of driving situations where the electric motor is exclusively responsible for powering the vehicle has been significantly increased, with the combustion engine only being brought into play when accelerating hard. The roof can open or close in 16 seconds and do so at speeds of up to 49km/h.

The unchanged 170kW/320Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine drives the rear wheels.

The 2019 BMW i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster will enter showrooms globally, starting in the second quarter of 2018. In total, the i8 gets an additional 12 hp, up to 369 hp.

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The most important announcement is without a doubt the addition of the i8 Roadster.

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. Its cell capacity has risen from a previous 20 Ah to 34 Ah, with energy capacity increasing from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh. All that also means a new rear window, new engine cover and new frameless doors that add up to seriously drool-worthy machine.

Also new is BMW's latest 360° electric charging system.

Now that formula has been enhanced with a refurbished design, some battery and motor tweaks, and the introduction of a two-seat topless i8 Roadster. Both cars are electronically limited to 155 miles per hour. A Tera World Copper interior trim featuring premium cloth and leather upholstery in an Amido/E-Copper color scheme is new and exclusive to the Roadster.

It sure looks tempting in this new hue, called E-Copper.

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