#LAAUTOSHOW: BMW Reveals A Refreshed i8 And An All New Roadster

That means total system power is now 275 kW/374 hp, allowing the i8 Roadster to cover the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds (0.2 seconds slower than the coupé).

Taking advantage of the new version of the vehicle being introduced, BMW offers a slight but interesting increase in power. Both i8 models continue to use a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine and an enhanced battery-powered electric motor.

The addition of the soft-top roof has resulted in a weight increase of 60 kilos over the coupe. Both the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe will be go on sale in the spring.

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The auto can switch from a coupe to a roadster in just 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

The long talked about roadster features an electric folding soft-top that's stored in a space-saving vertical position.

The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster features an electric soft top that can open in less than 16 seconds and operate at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. Its cell capacity has risen from a previous 20 Ah to 34 Ah, with energy capacity increasing from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh. The rear window doubles as a wind deflector can also be closed or opened independently without the roof.

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In terms of performance, the i8 now has a combined output of 369 horsepower, which is up 12 horsepower from before. Efficiency improvements in the batteries also liberate an extra 12bhp from the electric motor, which powers the front wheels.

The design of the coupe remains fairly unchanged from the nearly 4-year-old version, but the open-top roadster is the new long-awaited version of the plug-in vehicle. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour for both cars. When we say this beast is packing a 1.5-litre engine it might not sound impressive but bare with us. For reference, an i8 Coupe starts at $144,395 today.

Since both models are essentially a mid-cycle facelift, despite the Roadster not having a predecessor, both the exterior and the interior have been updated.

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Also new is BMW's latest 360° electric charging system. Otherwise, the car's design will be familiar to current owners of the coupe - much of the changes to the Roadster are to its complex aluminium construction, to compensate for the loss of a rigid roof. 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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  • Gina Adkins