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BMW's just dropped its i8's top (and added more power)

30 November 2017

The Roadster's trick is a new roof structure which stows automatically under a panel between the buttresses, all in around 15 seconds at up to 30mph.

It uses a mid-mounted version of BMW's turbocharged 1.5L 3-cyl. gasoline engine packaged behind the cabin in combination with an electric motor housed within the front axle assembly in a set-up that conceivably can provide either front-wheel drive running on the electric motor or all-wheel drive with the gasoline engine and electric motor working together. That soft, fabric top, BMW says, opens and closes in 16 seconds and can do so while driving at up to 31 miles per hour (50 km/h).

The BMW i8 Roadster features a fully electric fabric roof, which takes just 15 seconds to fold or open at speeds up to 30mph; when the roof is stowed, the car's rear window raises slightly to reduce air turbulence in the cabin, while the roof and its mechanism are created to allow for some storage space behind the front seats. When the roof is opened, the i8 Roadster's rear window rises by 1.9 inches into what BMW calls a "comfort" position to reduce wind turbulence.

Both models sport an updated powertrain system, whose electric bit now delivers a 12 horsepower increase in peak output to 143 horsepower.

Like the i8 Coupe - first launched in 2014 - the i8 Roadster has dihedral doors which open upwards and outwards but comes with a fabric roof that can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph opening and closing in 16 seconds at the touch of a button.

BMW i8 Facelift 12 830x553
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range

While the 2019 i8 Coupe keeps its 2+2 configuration, the new BMW i8 Roadster is a 2-seater, meant for the enjoyment of its driver and one lucky passenger.

The BMW i8 Roadster was long awaited since BMW showcased the i8 Spyder Concept back in 2012. Thanks to an improved high-voltage battery the i8 can now cover a claimed 55km on electric power alone, although you'd be lucky to get even close to that in real world driving.

Total output is up from 266kW to 275kW, with the i8's three-cylinder petrol engine remaining at 170kW. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2018 i8 coupe starts at $144,395. The electric motor is good for 105kW and pure EV range is quoted at 28km.

For now the auto has merely been unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show - there's still no information as to when the new i8 Roadster goes on sale in the United Kingdom, or what it might cost. Both are electronically limited to a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

It sure looks tempting in this new hue, called E-Copper.

Heat records tumble Tuesday; highs expected to top 90 through Thanksgiving weekend
A few batches of snow showers develop over the central and northern mountains with only about an inch or less of accumulation. Those brisk winds will continue this evening and add an extra chill, before winds slowly diminish later tonight .

BMW's just dropped its i8's top (and added more power)