BMW i8 Roadster makes its public debut at LA Auto Show

BMW i8 Roadster makes its public debut at LA Auto Show

BMW i8 Roadster makes its public debut at LA Auto Show

Both new i8 models are fueled by the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that's accompanied by an electric motor.

BMW unveiled the i8 Roadster on Wednesday, ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The cars along with the i3s are part of the automakers commitment to have 12 electric cars by 2025. The electric motor driving the front wheels gets 12bhp more power (now 141bhp) while the 1.5-litre petrol triple driving the rear wheels is unchanged in power (at 228bhp) but is said to sound sportier than before.

In terms of design, the i8 Roadster differentiates itself from the Coupe by using new black panels overlaid with aluminium trims (etched with the word "Roadster") instead of the rear side windows.

Before we look at the new Roadster, let's jump into the guts of this newly-updated i8.

BMW has modified the windscreen as well in order to accommodate the new roof. Located in the car's underbody, underneath the passenger cabin, the battery provides the i8 with a low center of gravity.

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There's also an upgraded electric motor, which has gained 9kW.

BMW has yet to reveal the two cars' curb weights, but they can't be that far apart, as the chunkier i8 is just 0.2 seconds slower to 60 miles per hour, and only gets one mile less on battery power than the i8 Coupe. Those lighter of foot can cruise up to around 18 miles in all-electric mode. (320 Nm) of torque as the existing unit, with drive channeled through a 6-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. The soft-top can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds, and is operable at speeds up to 50km/h. The soft-top can be stowed back in a cavity behind the seats in a perpendicular position. 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).

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. This allows for geometric parts that can not be cast for the optimum strength and size to be used, balancing weight with rigidity requirements.

When the concept of the BMW i8 first arrived, it was a Roadster with see-through doors.

There are two new colors for the 2019 i8: E-Copper and Donington Grey.

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