A First Look at the All-New BMW i8 Roadster
At the annual Los Angeles Auto Show in December, BMW introduced its first-ever convertible roadster: the 2019 i8 Roadster. This show-stealing hybrid sports car received a host of technology under its shell to guarantee its performance is on par with its aggressive looks. This vehicle may just be the ultimate driving machine. Let’s take a first look at the new BMW i8 Roadster.
Within a mere 16 seconds, the soft-top is down, and the wind is blowing through your hair, even at speeds of up to 31 mph. The Roadster’s electric fabric top offers additional soundproofing and quickly stows away in the rear compartment. The rear window automatically raises slightly to help control the flow of air for a real open-air experience. The Roadster is strictly a two-seater, giving up the coupe’s backseats for the drop top, but you’ll never miss them.
Show Stopping Style
Lamborghini-style butterfly doors lead you into the upholstered cabin with all-leather seats. You’ll enjoy the sports steering wheel, hi-tech multi-function displays, and the latest version of BMW’s iDrive on an 8.8-inch floating touch screen mounted on the dash. The B-pillars stand nearly upright, giving this two-seater drop-top a look that some car enthusiast say resembles the multi-million dollar Porsche 918 Spyder. The sports air-ducts between the rear lights and roof frame improve the i8’s elegance and aerodynamics.
The new convertible roadster shares the same hybrid powertrain as the coupe. Driving the axles are two electric motors and BMW’s TwinPower Turbo 3-cylinder engine. The eDrive technology combines the economy of an all-electric motor and the ferocity of a turbo engine for an adrenaline-charged driving experience. A combined 357 horsepower and a stock six-speed transmission sends power to all four wheels and launches the i8 from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.
The i8 is a top-down green driving experience. With a purely electric range of 18 miles, the new roadster has a maximum all-electric speed of 75 mph. The added power and range over the coupe predecessor — which put out 7.1 kWh — comes from a more robust lithium-ion battery that puts out 11.6 kWh. According to BMW, the Roadster boasts an estimated 76 miles-per-gallon equivalent.
Engineered with 3D Printing
BMW’s new roadster uses a new aluminum 3D printing process to sculpt lightweight components for the convertible’s roof-folding mechanism. To keep the convertible lightweight and compact, BMW decided to go all out and produce the seriously innovative parts. For the fabric’s bracing, engineers designed a frame that folds vertically into a “Z” shaped pattern. This frame takes up less space, leaving over 3.2 cubic feet of cargo space when stowed away, in addition to another 3 cubic feet in the i8’s trunk. BMW is the first to launch this ingenious 3D metal printing on production-made vehicles.
The head-turning 2019 i8 Roadster starts hitting the dealerships in the spring of 2018 with a base sticker price of $143,400. Experience pure electric driving in a heart-pounding package with the BMW i8 Roadster for 2019.