The BMW i8 has been a technological pioneer and the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car since it arrived in 2014. Now in 2018 it is joined by a new model that adds further allure to the arena of sustainable driving pleasure.
The all new BMW i8 Roadster takes the combination of emissions-free and high-perfromance motoring and adds open-top thrills. It is unique in offering such performance and silent acceleration with the pure sensation of roof-down driving.
The i8 Roadster is on sale now with prices starting from £124,735 OTR
First shown as a concept car back at the Beijing Motor Show in 2012, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder showed what a roofless version of the, as yet, unlaunched i8 Coupé might look like. It too featured clever packaging and dihedral doors despite the design challenges of not having a fixed roof.
Jump forward to 2018 and much of that striking original concept car has been retained in this finished vehicle. From innovative packaging of the roof, through to retaining the iconic doors and maintain the i8 family side profile, something many roadsters and convertibles fail to do when switching from hard-top to soft-top variant.
Driver and passenger in the all-new BMW i8 Roadster will look up to find either the open sky or a high-quality, all-season fabric soft-top with high-level soundproofing. All-electric operation ensures the roof opens or closes in an almost silent hush, within 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 31mph. This makes the i8 Roadster the BMW with the fastest opening roof across all the company’s models.
The i8 Roadster is unique in offering a fabric soft-top which stows into a perpendicular position in the rear when opened. This allows for far better packaging and day to day practicality. The three segments of the roof fold vertically in a Z-shape, thus taking up very little space and leaving an additional 100 litres of storage capacity between the roof box and the seats. This is in addition to the 88 litres of cargo space in the rear compartment.
Opening the roof raises the rear window automatically by around 30mm, reducing air turbulence inside the cabin and ensuring passengers can enjoy the pleasure of open-top driving with minimal disturbance. The driver can adjust the height of the window at the touch of a button and control airflow as desired.
Two sources of power for the BMW i8 Roadster
The new BMW i8 Roadster is powered by a hybrid synchronous electric motor and a three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The engine’s power is fed to the rear wheels through a six-speed Steptronic transmission, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The end result is a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system that glues the car to the road.
The BMW i Wallbox makes home charging particularly easy and convenient. The latest version of the Wallbox allows the high-voltage battery to be recharged at a rate of up to 3.6 kW, meaning that charging can be completed in under three hours. The BMW i Wallbox Connect extends the functionality of the unique BMW Digital Charging Service to enable intelligent charging based around optimised cost efficiency or preferential use of self-generated solar power.