Roadster Arrives With Refreshed BMW i8 Coupe

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

The new i8 Roadster model is basically a chop-top version of the i8 Coupe with the rear seats removed in order to make way for the folding rooftop and its mechanism.

BMW unveiled the i8 Roadster on Wednesday, ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Convertibles require more chassis strengthening than coupes, so the Roadster understandably is heavier - though we don't know by how much. Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants.

The two-seat drop-top has been shown alongside a facelift for the i8 Coupe; both models share almost everything from the 374hp hybrid powertrain and new design to the interiors and features.

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

The unchanged 170kW/320Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine drives the rear wheels.

If you really want to make sure your new i8 sticks out from the pack, you have to go with the new Roadster.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

In Germany, the basic price for the new BMW M5 was announced at 117,900 euros, but it can quickly climb a few tens of thousands with additional options and packages.

With a combined 369bhp, the new Roadster is credited with a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds, two-tenths behind the identically-updated coupe.

Electric-only range is up to 18 miles - a gain of 3 miles.

"The higher percentage [of sales] will be in the roadster, definitely", said Robert Irlinger, head of BMW i. 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).

Standard features on both the coupe and roadster include a fast charging cable, the Professional satellite navigation system, the company's latest tile-based iDrive infotainment system, a freestanding 8.8-inch screen, dynamic damper control, automated emergency braking, cruise control, and a 2.2-inch touchscreen display built into the key fob.

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.

BMW has also released two new paint finishes, E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic.

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