BMW launched its i8, and I brand it, as a means to test future engineering in a production vehicle, but it did not skip the fun. The i8 model can work with all-electric power and also offers an attractive sporting experience, along with an out-of-this-world design.
At the Auto Show in Los Angeles, BMW doubles on the i8, adding a variant Roadster with a retractable fabric roof for the existing Coupe model.
The i8 retains the innovative carbon fiber structure since its launch in 2014, along with its plug-in hybrid transmission of gas and electricity, which makes this version of the 2019 model year more refreshing than a major update. However, the new open top variant adds a significant variety. In both Roadster and Coupe, the doors are raised and raised, gull-wing style. However, the Coupe retains the cargo space and the rear seats, while the Roadster only offers two seats. The lack of a hatchback gives the i8 Roadster two nice-looking aerodynamic ridges behind each seat, reminiscent of the automotive design of the 50s.
The i8 Roadster includes a retractable fabric panel over the cab that is stored in 16 seconds and can operate at speeds up to 31 mph. A rear window automatically rises when the upper part lowers to minimize turbulence in the cabin.
As with previous i8 the new model comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, which produces remarkably 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, driving the wheels back In addition, an electric motor drives the front wheels. For the 2019 model year, BMW increased the battery size from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt-hours, thus increasing the power of the electric motor from 129 to 141 horsepower. That puts the total production up to 369 horsepower, with acceleration at 60 mph of 4.2 seconds for the Coupé and 4.4 seconds for the Roadster, numbers that BMW describes as "preliminary".
That battery capacity also allows the new i8 to travel 18 miles in electric vehicle mode.
At a preview event, Klaus Fröhlich, a member of the BMW Board of Management, said the company is working to reduce the cost of batteries in the i8, and its other offers for electrified cars. He pointed out that the development work that was done on the i8 made the other BMW Performance vehicles possible, such as 330e . The company plans to offer 25 electrified vehicles, including a handful of purely electric vehicles, by the year 2025.
Enhancing the high-tech nature of the i8, BMW adds its suite of driver badistance features, from adaptive cruise control , which automatically combines speeds with slower forward traffic, to a front display screen, which projects useful driving information at the lower edge of the windshield. These characteristics are similar to how BMW equips its last model of the Series 7 .
BMW's new iDrive infotainment system, which includes navigation with online destination search and Apple's Wireless CarPlay, also finds a place in this new i8. This system retains BMW's traditional dialing controller on the console, but also adds touch-screen capabilities.
Like an exotic hybrid, the i8 is not exactly a big seller, but finds enough interest in the company averaging more than 1,000 per year in the NOS. Easily beat the new Acura NSX, which came out last year. However, its performance in sports cars is not amazing compared to the NSX, and that will not change with the 2019 model year.
The addition of driver badistance technologies gives the i8 a great advantage over equivalent sports cars . , but also suggests that BMW is not really aiming at the performance of the track but to be an everyday exotic driver. The inclusion of the i8 Roadster reinforces this idea.
The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe goes on sale in the spring of 2018.