1 December 2017

BMW unveils new, greener i8 Roadster in Los Angeles

During the Los Angeles Auto Show BMW presented the first updated version of its iconic i8 hybrid sports car. It also launched the brand new i8 Coupe 2-seated version.

The BMW i8 has been the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car since it first launched in 2014, and its plug-in hybrid drive system has won the International Engine of the Year award for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017.

Due to the optimised BMW eDrive technology, the new models are celebrating an improved ‘locally emission-free mobility’ along with impressive design features.

Both new versions will have an increased horsepower of 374 hp- 17hp more than its predecessor, and improved electric motor output, which combined with higher battery capacity will increase its all-electric range by 10 miles. 

The lithium-ion battery capacity has increased from 7.1 to 11.6 killowatt hours (KWh) due to advances made to battery cell technology.

The new vehicles are able to cover up to 18 miles in purely electric driving on a single charge, almost 30 percent more than previous models, and reaching a speed of up to 65 miles/hour or approximately 100 km/hour solely on the electric motor’s power. 

The i8 Roadster comprises an electrically operated convertible roof, which opens in about 16 seconds. Andrian Van Hooydonk, BMW Head of Design said SlashGear: “We developed the i8 to make a very emotional statement about this new mobility by making an open-top version of it”. 


According to BMW, due to an intelligent energy management coordinating the interaction between the electric motor and the updated lithium-ion battery with the combustion engine, the model operates with great efficiency with CO2 emissions of approximately 46g/km.

The i8 Roadster will be commercially available in spring 2018 and the i8 Coupe in 2019. The price will be announced closer to the market launch.

You can read the official press release from BMW with all the details about the two new hybrid models here

Image credits: BMW Group

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