BMW has shown off the i8 Roadster. Finally the production version is here. It’s been unveiled at the LA motor show and while its styling weirdly attracting, you probably can’t resist to it: ‘cuz it looks every bit as desirable as an i8 drop-top ought to.
BMW I8 Roadster revealed alongside and an updated BMW i8 Coupe
The good news is it brings more of everything: improved battery technology means more energy, so the motor now produces 143bhp – up 12bhp, taking the car’s total petrol and electric output to 374bhp. The electric-only range tops 30 miles now, too. The Roadster is very similar to the Coupe, using the same carbon-reinforced plastic core, whose rigid structure has maximised the size of the roof opening and negated the need for lots of extra strengthening.
BMW I8 Roadster Weight & more
Roadster weighs just 60kg more than standard, at 1,595kg, while it retains the bold dihedral doors, albeit frameless versions. Its roof is a folding fabric item that whirs backwards or forwards in “almost silent hush”, which is handy given the car’s powertrain tries to do the same thing. Opening or closing takes 16secs and can be done at up to 31mph, while the roof’s storage is designed to barely impede on luggage space. It folds in a Z-shape and is stored vertically, while some of the mechanism’s shapes have only been possible via 3D printing. Because the future. The i8’s miniscule rear seats have also been traded for more luggage space.
You can twiddle through the i8’s various driving modes for ultimate speed, of course, which frees up 0-62mph in 4.6secs in the Roadster (4.4secs in the Coupe) and a 155mph top speed (for both).
The updated i8 Coupe’s price is around five per cent higher than before, at £112,730. The Roadster adds precisely 12 grand more, starting at £124,730. You do get a fair pile of equipment for that, mind, with laser headlights and a pedestrian warning buzzer the key options.