Is BMW's new i8 roadster the coolest hybrid yet?

Nov 30, 2017, 13:03
Is BMW's new i8 roadster the coolest hybrid yet?

These numbers mean that while Elon Musk's new Tesla Roadster can promise a 0-60 run in 1.9 seconds, the i8 family remains on the conservative side with a time of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe, and 4.4 for the Roadster. The electric motor driving the front wheels gets 12bhp more power (now 141bhp) while the 1.5-litre petrol triple driving the rear wheels is unchanged in power (at 228bhp) but is said to sound sportier than before. Its electronically operated soft-top roof opens and closes in just 16 seconds and can be engaged at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour.

The i8 Roadster becomes the third member of BMW's futuristic i family.

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.

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The long talked about roadster features an electric folding soft-top that's stored in a space-saving vertical position.

The new BMW i8 Coupe accelerates a little faster with 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 4.4 seconds and it also has a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). 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). The automobiles also get an additional 12 horsepower out of the system bringing it up the total to 369 horsepower.

Inside there are a few changes other than the loss of the two rear seats - you get a new 8.8-inch touchscreen display, upgraded steering wheel and instrument panel as well as some other tweaks to the dashboard.

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However, both have an improved electric range - the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only, while the Roadster can do 53km.

Lastly, BMW has also confirmed the i8 Roadster will have a slightly different suspension/steering tune, the Munich-based manufacturer telling us this allows the Roadster to retain the trademark handling and performance qualities.

For those not up-to-date with BMWs nomenclature and model lineup, we are talking about the i8 facelift, which is also getting a much-awaited Roadster version. Now rated at 105kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels. The i8's trademark "gullwing" doors feature on the Roadster as well as returning on the updated i8 coupe.

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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. The electric motor is good for 105kW and pure EV range is quoted at 28km. The Giga and Halo interior trim options remain available and a new Tera World Copper has been added.

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