BMW i8 Roadster breaks cover at LA Auto Show

BMW finally lifted the lid on the new i8 Roadster at the LA Auto Show yesterday, as well as revealing an updated version of the coupe.

A convertible version of the plug-in hybrid sports car has been eagerly awaited ever since the coupe version of the i8 launched in 2014. Now, more than three years later, we get to see it in the metal.

It was unveiled alongside an updated version of the i8 coupe, which will go on sale at the same time as the Roadster version.

The new versions boast improved power and range compared with the old model. The electric motor now produces an extra 12bhp, meaning it now produces 143bhp. Combined with a 1.5-litre engine, the overall output of the new i8 is 374bhp.

BMW has opted for a fabric hood for the Roadster, and it takes just 16 seconds to open and close at speeds of up to 31mph.

An improved electric-only range of 33 miles (Roadster) and 34 miles (coupe) makes the new model greener than ever, with claimed economy figures of 134.5 mpg (Roadster) and 149.8mpg (coupe). The CO2 emissions for both models slot under 50g/km.

The 60kg of extra weight on the Roadster means that it is 0.2 seconds slower to 60mph than the coupe, taking 4.4 seconds. Both coupe and Roadster have a top speed of 155mph.

Standard specification for both models includes satellite navigation, a BMW Display Key and BMW Connected Drive Services. Optional extras include laser headlights and a head-up display.

Prices have risen slightly for the coupe, which now starts at £112,730, while the Roadster costs from £124,730. Both models go on sale in January.

To find out more about owning and running an electric vehicle, check out our guide.

Ted Welford


November 30, 2017

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