Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

#LAAUTOSHOW: BMW Reveals A Refreshed i8 And An All New Roadster

#LAAUTOSHOW: BMW Reveals A Refreshed i8 And An All New Roadster

It's been eight years since the BMW i8 left us open-mouthed with a first glimpse of the new vehicle in concept auto form.

Announced by BMW is the new 2019 i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster.

Of course you're going to need to make sure you're making some serious cash to afford either version of the i8 with a street price expected to be north of $150,000. BMW has been teasing this model for quite some time, but we finally get the chance to see it uncovered. Of course this is the first major change over the coupe as this mechanical roof means the i8 Roadster has no back seats.

Speaking of which, the all-new BMW i8 Roadster is only about 60 kg (130 pounds) heavier than the Coupe, despite having a reinforced CFRP chassis and an electrically retractable soft top. That said, for safety and longevity reasons, the usable capacity of only 9.4 kWh, which is enough to give the BMW i8 Coupe an electric range of 55 km (34 miles) in the NEDC cycle, while the slightly more cumbersome i8 Roadster can be driven in electric mode for up to 53 km (33 miles).

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Despite hopes that BMW would do something properly interesting with the i8's plug-in hybrid powertrain, it gets a very light makeover. Both the Roadster and coupe receive a new lithium-ion battery pack with an increased 11.6-kilowatt-hour capacity.

It uses a mid-mounted version of BMW's turbocharged 1.5L 3-cyl. gasoline engine packaged behind the cabin in combination with an electric motor housed within the front axle assembly in a set-up that conceivably can provide either front-wheel drive running on the electric motor or all-wheel drive with the gasoline engine and electric motor working together. All-electric range has been increased, with BMW expecting the i8 to travel up to 18 miles on electricity alone, up from the current i8's 14 mile pure EV range. (249 Nm) of torque as in today's i8 Coupe via a 2-speed gearbox to the front wheels.

Total output is up from 266kW to 275kW, with the i8's three-cylinder petrol engine remaining at 170kW. Unlike the i8 coupe, which is a 2+2, the Roadster is strictly a two-seater. A set of 20-inch BMW lightweight alloy wheels is standard, with four other options available in the same size. New color schemes being offered include E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic, both with Frozen Grey metallic accents.

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