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

Randall Craig
November 30, 2017

The Roadster wasn't the only i8-related development BMW unveiled in LA; since the i8 Coupe was introduced, electrification technology has evolved, and it benefits from the implements that have gone into the Roadster.

Convertibles require more chassis strengthening than coupes, so the Roadster understandably is heavier - though we don't know by how much. The result is a noticeable increase in dynamic performance, operating range and the amount of driving possible using purely the electric drive system.

The first open-top model from BMW's electric i sub-brand, the Roadster's roof automatically stows beneath a panel integrated within the two buttresses behind the cabin, at the press of a button. But BMW was able to optimize its eDrive tech to get more power and range out of the vehicle.

The roof, which consists of a large fabric-covered panel and integrated header rails, is claimed to open in just 15 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles per hour (50 km/h), providing the i8 Roadster with full open-air properties.

Under the hood of the 2019 all-wheel drive i8s are two electric motors and a three-cylinder turbocharged engine.

The F90 BMW M5 will be arriving in USA showrooms in spring 2018 with an MSRP of $102,600 plus $995 Destination and Handling.

2018 BMW i8 Interior is only slightly updated
2018 BMW i8 Interior is only slightly updated

Just a touch more than three years after it first hit the market in Germany, we found BMW's once revolutionary i8 hybrid to be in a rather tight spot.

The most important announcement is without a doubt the addition of the i8 Roadster. A larger 11.6kWh battery replaces the original 7.1kWh unit.

Electric-only range is up to 18 miles - a gain of 3 miles. All that also means a new rear window, new engine cover and new frameless doors that add up to seriously drool-worthy machine.

Both cars are powered by a reworked version of the previous petrol-electric hybrid system.

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. New color schemes being offered include E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic, both with Frozen Grey metallic accents. 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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