New BMW i8 Roadster revealed alongside updated i8 Coupe

New BMW i8 Roadster revealed alongside updated i8 Coupe

New BMW i8 Roadster revealed alongside updated i8 Coupe

Power on both models has been increased and so has range with the cars now capable of zero emission motoring for up to 34 miles, nearly twice the distance possible on the original i8.

A soft-top convertible version of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe. It takes about 15 seconds and it can be activated while traveling at up to 50 km/h (31 mph). While the Coupe is a tenth faster to 62mph than the old one, at 4.4 seconds, the Roadster drops two tenths on that as it labours just that little bit harder to get its mass moving off the line. Ivory white leather upholstery rounds out the cabins of both models, while the Roadster adds a black option.

No word yet on Australian availability or pricing, we will keep you updated.

Interestingly enough, it stows in a perpendicular position behind the passengers.

Perhaps more importantly though, the battery pack's capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah, with the gross energy capacity going from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours. Both the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe will be go on sale in the spring.

2019 BMW i8

The lengthy gestation period has seen the first open-top model from BMW's fledgling i brand adopt a re-engineered roof structure.

BMW has also had a fiddle with the glasshouse, beefing up the windscreen and quarter window and turning the rear window in to a deflector which can be raised or lowered wherever you have the roof. Both Roadster and Coupe receive significant connectivity updates, too, including support for BMW Connected Services, which includes smartphone integration and intelligent route planning, plus real-time traffic and parking information updates.

This battery boosting has meant that more power can be directed to the electric motor, bumping it by 12 horsepower to 141 horses in all (105 kW) and 184 pound-feet (249 Nm) of torque. The electric range is now claimed to be 53 kilometres.

What the i8 Roadster does offer over the coupe in performance is range.

The 2019 i8 Roadster doesn't look that different from the coupe, other than the different top and the fact that the two rear seats have been removed. The electric motors now produce 105kW/143bhp and can drive the auto to 105kmph on pure battery power which can be increased to 120kmph at a push of a (eDrive) button. The combined power output of 369bhp and 570Nm is channelled through a six-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels.

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