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30 November 2017, 01:56 | Denise Dawson
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range
Electric cars gotta look cool. Today, performance EVs offer more speed with vastly improved range; in the world of hybrids, we have the Acura NSX.
Pricing has not been announced, but a BMW representative told us the i8 Roadster will start "north of $150,000". The i8 roadster features a fabric soft top that can open or close in less than 16 seconds, at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. The connecting mechanisms were 3D printed to ensure accuracy, and additional soundproofing was added to ensure a comfortable ride.
The resulting space between the roof box and the seats is around 3.5 square feet, while the rear cargo area can hold 4.7 square feet of your BMW i8 cargo area-shaped objects. However, the main change is to be found in the roof, where an electric canvas hood has appeared that can be folded down in just 16 seconds, at speeds of up to 30mph. Of course it is also coupled with the electric drive system at 141 hp that brings that total power output to a respectable 369 horsepower. Neither is the acceleration, though the 0-60 miles per hour times now stand at 4.2 seconds for the Coupe and 4.4 seconds for the roadster; 155 miles per hour remains the limited top speed.
BMW made the 2019 i8 greener than the current one by putting a bigger emphasis on pure electric drive. Its cell capacity has risen from a previous 20 Ah to 34 Ah, with energy capacity increasing from 7.1 kWh to 11.6 kWh. Now, it makes 600 hp on the nose and 553 lb-ft of torque.
In electric-only mode both models can reach speeds of up to 65mph - 75mph when the eDrive boost mode is engaged - and to help on the eco front the engine is now fitted with a particulate filter to cut emissions.
Several adaptations had to be made, however, including the use of newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminum outer shell, as well as the windscreen frame made entirely from CFRP.
Its impact on the Frankfurt motor show was considerable - it's not every day you see a sports coupe hiding a plug-in hybrid system under its bodywork. As mentioned above, we hope you still like the design. 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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