BMW Inspires with 2019 i8 Roadster at 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
This week, BMW Group brought the sleek 2019 i8 plug-in hybrid Roadster variant to the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show press preview. An attention getter, the cool BMW i8 Roadster with gullwing-like doors that lift up is the convertible version of BMW’s current i8 plug-in hybrid Sports Coupe. Both the soft-top Roadster and latest i8 Sports Coupe, which had its initial press debut in 2014, are expected to reach U.S. dealer showrooms next spring.
Production ready, the 1019 BMW i8 Roadster is powered by more energetic 11.6-kWh lithium-ion batteries that are good for a possible 18-mile pure electric range. Assisted by a turbocharged 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder gas engine, the i8 Roadster generates a combined 369 horsepower and is capable of a more extended range before recharging and refilling. The car’s fabric soft-top retracts in just 16 seconds, even while the car is moving at up to 31 mph. A rear window rises automatically to help protect against wind turbulence in the cockpit.
Similar to BMW’s i8 hybrid large premium sporty Coupe, the Roadster has an all-aluminum body with rigid carbon plastic core and a carbon fiber passenger compartment to provide sporty, lighter weight for a streamlined ride. The convertible, however is more than 100 lbs. heavier than the i8 Sports Coupe. Electric motors drive the front wheels and the gasoline engine propels rear wheels. The usual 0-60 mph sprint takes 4.4 seconds and the Roadster achieves a top speed of 155 mph. Most of the advanced driver assistance systems available on the BMW 7 Series are incorporated in the i8 Roadster, including head-up display.
BMW’s i8 Roadster is the latest model in its i sub-brand lineup, which is set to launch a possible 25 electrified vehicles that include 12 pure EVs by 2025. Pricing for the i8 Roadster has not been revealed, but the 2017 BMW i8 has a starting sticker of $143,400.