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LA Motor Show: Updated BMW i8 and new i8 Roadster revealed

By Chris Thompson, 30 Nov 2017 News

2018 BMW i8 main nw

More power and a new drop-top design for BMW’s hybrid performance coupe

BMW has revealed its facelifted i8 Coupe at the LA Motor Show, as well as debuting a new model, the BMW i8 Roadster.

BMW says it has improved its technology surrounding the drivetrain of the i8, which now has more power from its electric motor and a longer range.

Total output is up from 266kW to 275kW, with the i8’s three-cylinder petrol engine remaining at 170kW. However, BMW says the engine now sounds better.

The new BMW i8 makes a run to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, though BMW admits the Roadster is two tenths slower. BMW says the extra weight in the Roadster hasn’t affected its ability to hit its top speed of 250km/h.

However, both have an improved electric range – the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only, while the Roadster can do 53km.

To keep the Roadster as dynamically close to the Coupe as possible, BMW has implemented body-specific strengthening elements and gullwing doors which have been built to be as light as possible.

In addition, BMW used carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to build the windscreen frame.

All up, BMW says the Roadster is 60kg heavier than the Coupe.

The Roadster also scores its own damper and spring tuning for its suspension, as well as a new stability control calibration.

It comes with new 20-inch light-alloy wheels which BMW says are all 1kg lighter than the wheels previously available.

BMW has also released two new paint finishes, E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic.

MOTOR will report BMW i8 Coupe and Roadster Australian availability and pricing when it is confirmed by BMW Australia.