01 December 2017, Los Angeles
- The sports car of the future – now available in two body variants.
- Further developed BMW eDrive technology enables longer range.
- All-electric roof opens and closes within 16 seconds whilst travelling at speeds of up to 31mph.
- Sub-50g/km CO2.
- World premiere of the BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show 01 -10 December 2017.
- On sale January 2018, prices for the BMW i8 Coupé starts at £112,730 / $151,900 (on the road) and the Roadster is priced from £124,730 / $168,000 (on the road).
The 2+2 seater BMW i8 is the sports car of the future in the showrooms of today and has been the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car since 2014.
Now, the supercilious eco-warrior of sustainable driving pleasure is transported to a new dimension. The all new i8 Roadster allows emission-free, high-performance and adds open-top thrills. With the top down, you can enjoy silent acceleration and the only exhaust fumes that you will smell are the ones from the dirty drivers around you.
Following the world premiere of the i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017, the order book will open in January 2018. The Roadster will be joined by the mid-life update of the i8 Coupé, with both models based on the LifeDrive vehicle architecture designed for BMW i-Cars. The aluminium ‘Drive’ module brings together the powertrain, high-voltage battery, suspension, crash system and structural functions, while the ‘Life’ module takes the form of a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell.
Check out the evocative dihedral doors – is a fine exponent of the signature BMW i design language. Looking upwards, passengers inside the i8 Roadster can enjoy 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 almost silently, within 16 seconds and while travelling at up to 31mph.
You still get a lot of space because the i8 Roadster’s soft-top stows upright in a small rear space when opened. You get 100 litres of storage space between the roof box and the seats in addition to the 88 litres of cargo space in the rear compartment.
BMW eDrive Technology
BMW’s rigorously developed eDrive technology powers both the i8 Roadster and Coupé; optimised with more power and increased range. Ever more of the time, the electric motor is solely responsible for powering the car. The tiny combustion engine is only brought into play when accelerating hard, and is switched off again more frequently when you are “less urgent”.
An updated lithium-ion battery cell capacity of 34Ah and peak output 12hp increase to 143hp means that you are sitting pretty. The i8 Roadster can cover up to 33 miles with zero emissions, while the i8 Coupé can achieve up to 34 miles, reaching well beyond the city limits.
The proportions, lines and surface design are distinctive to the i8 Coupé and the i8 Roadster as a new breed of sports car. A flat bonnet, visible aerodynamics, short overhangs, a long wheelbase, broad track and an elongated roofline create an aura of dynamism, lightness and efficiency.
The design cues common to both the i8 Coupé and Roadster include dihedral doors that open forwards and upwards as well as optimised aerodynamics.
The low bonnet, the BMW kidney grille, air flap control system, Air Curtains in the front apron, sealed underbody, contoured side skirts, “stream flow” lines of the car’s flanks, and air ducts between the rear lights and roof frame allow the air to be channeled extremely effectively.
The flow of cooling air at the front has now been re-routed, instead of flowing out through the outlet in the bonnet the air escapes at the sides of the car near the wheel arches and into the underbody. This ensures a pleasant cabin temperature is maintained at all times, especially when travelling with the roof down.
New exterior paint finishes and exclusive light-alloy wheels
E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic have been added to the choice of exterior paint finishes available. Both are combined with accents in Frozen Grey metallic.
The i8 Roadster and Coupe are equipped with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a W-spoke design. Customers can also choose from another three light-alloy wheel variants with the same dimensions.
Standard specification for both includes a sports steering wheel and multi-functional instrument display, plus Carpo interior trim comprising full-leather upholstery in Ivory White for the Coupé and Ivory White/Black for the Roadster.
Powertrain, chassis and body
The new BMW i8 Coupé and new BMW i8 Roadster are 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 drives the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox.
The system output produced by the electric motor and turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-litres petrol engine acting in unison has increased to 374hp. The new BMW i8 Coupé accelerates from zero to 62mph in 4.4 seconds, while the new i8 Roadster takes 4.6 seconds. Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
Combined fuel consumption, as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, stands at 149.8mpg for the BMW i8 Coupé and 134.5mpg for the BMW i8 Roadster – which equates to petrol CO2 emissions of 42 and 46g/km respectively – plus 14.0kWh of electricity for the BMW i8 Coupé and 14.5kWh for the BMW i8 Roadster.
Non-dazzling laser headlights with high-beam range of 600 metres.
The BMW i8 was the world’s first production vehicle to be equipped with pioneering laser headlights. The non-dazzling BMW Laserlights with BMW Selective Beam achieves a remarkable high-beam range of up to 600 metres, double that of the full-LED headlights fitted as standard on the i8 Coupé and Roadster, which are themselves exceptionally powerful.
Not Fake News!
Another optional extra available is an acoustic pedestrian warning, which makes it easier for pedestrians to notice the vehicle when driving at low speeds in all-electric mode by generating a distinctive identifying turbine sound. The acoustic pedestrian warning is active up to 18mph, i.e. at the sort of speeds where tyre noise and wind noise are barely audible.
With each iteration, BMW is making it difficult for even petrolheads to ignore the BMW i-Cars and eDrive technology. It still requires infrastructure investment and legislation changes by governments to make it viable.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).