Los Angeles Auto Show: Drop-Top BMW i8 Roadster Revealed

2019 BMW i8 Roadster

We're not sure what the holdup was, but it was probably for the best that BMW reached so far into future for its looks; the thing still looks fairly fresh today (assuming you're into scoops, finlets and flying buttresses).

BMW says the all-electric roof opens and closes "very quietly" in 15 seconds, at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). Also included is new technology such as BMW's controversial "display key" as well as the latest iDrive infotainment system.

In terms of style, the Roadster ditches the rear side windows. They are replaced by black panels overlaid with brushed-metallic trim etched with the word "Roadster".

"The higher percentage [of sales] will be in the roadster, definitely", said Robert Irlinger, head of BMW i. It's about 130 pounds heavier than the Coupe. (91 L) of cargo space in cubby holes integrated into the rear bulkhead.

An even weight distribution, low center of gravity and gullwing doors add to the sportiness of the hybrid vehicles, which are set to go on sale in the Spring of 2018. (22-cm) monitor or rotary control via a dial in the center console.

Since its introduction in 2014, the i8 has been the world's best selling hybrid sports auto, but for the 2019 model year the i8 gets some nice performance upgrades and the addition of the roadster.

The all-wheel-drive i8 is powered by a combination of a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder combustion engine and two electric motors, with one dedicated to the front wheels. That inline three, six speed engine in turbocharged to output an impressive 228 horsepower. That allows for a 9-kW/12-hp increase of the electric motor's peak output, which is now 105 kW (143 hp). The 2018 BMW i8 coupe starts at $146,395. Now, it makes 600 hp on the nose and 553 lb-ft of torque. That now rises to 74mph in eDrive electric mode.

The new BMW i8 Roadster accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

Accompanying the driveline changes is a revised lithium-ion battery. The range for driving in electric mode has been increased to 33 miles in the Roadster and 34 miles in the Coupe.

Electric-only range is up to 18 miles - a gain of 3 miles. The German automaker tweeted a video debuting the new model, roughly three months after confirming the Roadster's existence.

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