BMW Launch The i8 Roadster at LA Auto Show

Categories Motoring

BMW gives the electric hybrid segment a massive style makeover with the sporty new i8 Roadster two-door coupe.

BMW announced its electric car intentions with the i8 in 2014, which has since become the world’s highest-selling hybrid sports car and with a plug-in hybrid drive system that has won the International Engine of the Year award three years in a row between 2015 and 2017.

Now the famous German marque adds a new dimension of sportiness and high-end style to the plug-in hybrid model with the launch at the LA Auto Show of the soft-top convertible BMW i8 Roadster.

Like the i8 Coupe, the Roadster runs short commutes at low speed on battery power before a turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine kicks in for a combined 369 horsepower with a range limited only by the size of the gas tank.

For those who equate ‘electric car’ with functional but unfashionable, the Roadster will change the game, adding the wind-in-the-hair freedom of open-air motoring to the electric hybrid ‘cars of the future’.

The BMW i8 Roadster benefits from a low-weight construction, complete with low centre of gravity and even weight distribution. The aerodynamically optimised exterior – with model-specific gullwing doors and a soft-top roof – displays the signature BMW i design language. The result is a two-seater boasting a distinctive and elegantly stretched silhouette, and delivering an immediate promise of instantaneous power ready to be unleashed.

The electric range of the i8 has also been increased. The new BMW i8 Roadster can now cover up to 53 kilometres (33 miles) with zero local emissions in the NEDC test cycle and the new BMW i8 Coupe up to 55 kilometres (34 miles). And that broadens the reach of all-electric mobility well beyond the city limits.

Following the world premiere of the BMW i8 Roadster at the LA Auto Show, the car will be on sale from  May 2018, and will be joined by the new version of the BMW i8 Coupe. Both models are based on the LifeDrive vehicle architecture designed for BMW i cars.