Roadster Arrives With Refreshed BMW i8 Coupe

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It's taken a few years, but BMW has finally released a Roadster version of its futuristic i8 sports auto and the new body style coincides with a few upgrades to the Coupe, including a more powerful drivetrain.

The petrol engine churns out the same 228bhp it did to drive the back wheels, but the electric motor for the front wheels gets an extra 12bhp (that'll transform it) for a total of 141bhp.

The vehicle can switch from a coupe to a roadster in just 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

BMW says it has improved its technology surrounding the drivetrain of the i8, which now has more power from its electric motor and a longer range. Reaching 60 miles per hour in the coupe takes 4.2 seconds, while the roadster is slightly slower at 4.4 seconds, but both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. 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. 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.

BMW i8 Facelift 12 830x553

With the eDrive mode engaged, you can now travel at up to 120 km/h purely on the electric batteries, but range, while improved, is still just over 50 km (33 miles). This allows some extra storage space behind the driver and passenger, a space nearly equal to the actual trunk's 4.7 cubic foot (133 liters) offering at 3.5 cubic feet (99 liters).

Inside, the i8 Coupe's 2+2 configuration is eschewed in favor of a two-seat layout for the i8 Roadster, which features a claimed 3.2 cu. -ft. A new aluminum 3D printing process was used to make lightweight parts for the Roadster's roof.

The BMW i8 Roadster gets two new exterior colours; E-Copper and Donnington Grey. This allows for geometric parts that can not be cast for the optimum strength and size to be used, balancing weight with rigidity requirements. Badging on the rear (B) pillars will indicate Coupe or Roadster according to the model chosen.

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. The Giga and Halo interior trim options remain available and a new Tera World Copper has been added.




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