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Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Full reveal of new BMW i8 Roadster

Full reveal of new BMW i8 Roadster

Under the hood of the 2019 all-wheel drive i8s are two electric motors and a three-cylinder turbocharged engine.

BMW tell us the Roadster's soft-top will open or close in around 15 seconds and at travelling speed up to 50 km/h.

BMW made the 2019 i8 greener than the current one by putting a bigger emphasis on pure electric drive.

That, according to BMW, is enough to get you from zero to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds in the case of the Roadster, with the Coupe taking 4.4s, and remember that the i8 is a lot lighter than BMW's regular cars, thanks largely to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell construction. When we say this beast is packing a 1.5-litre engine it might not sound impressive but bare with us.

Zero to 62 miles per hour for the Roadster happens in a claimed 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

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Both can be ordered with Tera World Copper interior trim, which is new to the i8, and features a cloth and leather upholstery combination in a two-tone (Amido/E-Copper) colour scheme.

Top speed in both the coupe and roadster is 250km/h. The stowage solution means that the i8 Roadster actually benefits from increased storage space.

Not that they were much use, but the rear side windows are ditched in the Roadster (it's a two-seater), as is the liftback which turns in to a rather long engine cover, and the interior gets a bit of a makeover (as does that in the 2018 Coupe). This allows for geometric parts that can not be cast for the optimum strength and size to be used, balancing weight with rigidity requirements. A set of 20-inch BMW lightweight alloy wheels is standard, with four other options available in the same size.

It sure looks tempting in this new hue, called E-Copper.

This picture doesn't show it, but the Roadster keeps the i8 Coupe's signature flip-up doors. BMW claims the new battery provides an all-electric range of 33 miles (53 km) for the i8 Roadster and 34 miles (55 km) for the i8 Coupe in FWD electric mode up to a limited speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) on the European test cycle. 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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