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Roadster Arrives With Refreshed BMW i8 Coupe

30 November, 2017, 12:31 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
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Inside, the i8 Roadster receives the latest version of iDrive with a choice of touch control on a free-standing 8.8-inch monitor or rotary control via a dial on the middle console. BMW has also been able to retain the Coupe's distinctive dihedral doors for the Roadster, designing new frameless units made from carbonfibre and overlaid with an aluminium skin.

Other changes include new front seats, revised interior trim options, and "Coupe" or "Roadster" badging around the C-pillar.

BMW says the inherent structural integrity of the i8's carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum structure has helped in limiting the weight gain for the Roadster, which is claimed to tip the scales 132 lbs. "If you're playing in that segment with the very expensive cars, it's always [that] you have to have the newest one". In electric-only mode, the top speed is 120km/h, while the driving range is now up to 53km in the soft-top, and 55km in the coupe. In the US, i8 sales are down 72 percent through the first 10 months of 2017, with just 364 sold.

Both models sport an updated powertrain system, whose electric bit now delivers a 12 horsepower increase in peak output to 143 horsepower. The rear window doubles as a wind deflector can also be closed or opened independently without the roof. It's cell capacity is increased from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, boosting energy capacity from 7.1 kWh to 11.6, giving it a net energy capacity of 9.4 kWh (usable). Now rated at 105kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels.


Options on both models include head-up display, laser high beam system, and an acoustic pedestrian warning system, which operates at speeds up to 30km/h when the vehicle is operating in electric-only mode. Reaching 60 miles per hour in the coupe takes 4.2 seconds, while the roadster is slightly slower at 4.4 seconds, but both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.

The liftback tailgate of the i8 Coupe also makes way for a lengthy engine cover on the i8 Roadster. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The Roadster's fuel consumption suffers more next to the coupe, but then it still records 134.5mpg on the combined cycle.

When it was shown as a concept - then called the i8 Spyder - it was unclear just what sort of roof it would have; now we know it gets a folding ragtop that tucks out of sight without eating up too much cargo space. The 2018 BMW i8 coupe starts at $146,395. Also on offer is a new upholstery option, Tera World Copper with E-Copper upholstery.

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