BMW has come to the 2017 edition of the L.A. Auto Show with a mission to reinvigorate its i electric automobile brand, and perhaps no new model illustrates this better than the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.
The Roadster represents the open-top version of the also-revised i8 Coupe that first appeared in 2014, giving fans of the unique plug-in hybrid the chance to get a tan while also enjoying “locally emission-free mobility.”
The most impressive aspect of the i8 Roadster is that its topless design has added a mere 132 pounds (60 kilograms) to the curb weight of the coupe, despite maintaining the frameless gullwing doors found on the hardtop.
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Both versions of the car feature a revised eDrive system that includes an 11.6-kWh battery in place of last year’s 7.1-kWh unit, boosting peak output of the electric motor to 143 horsepower, and increasing EV-only driving speeds to just over 60 mph (105 km/h). Total system output stands at 374 horses, and the coupe can hit 60 mph from a standing start in just 4.4 seconds (4.6 seconds if you’re in the roadster). For those who care about silent running more than drag racing, battery range stands at 34 miles (55 km) for the fixed-roof model, and just under that for the drop top.
All of your favorite i8 features – including BMW Laserlight headlights, an acoustic warning for scaring pedestrians, and the ability to completely recharge its battery in just three hours using the i Wallbox system – are still available with the car.
Look for the new BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe to hit dealerships later this year, with pricing announced closer to their launch.
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