BMW i8 Roadster Drops in LA

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After the endless delay, the Bavarian carmaker has finally revealed the open-top i8 hybrid sports vehicle at the 2017 Los Angeles Motor Show.

BMW officially pulled the sheet off the two today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The dashboard is lightly updated for the i8 Roadster and i8 Coupe, with the latest version of BMW's iDrive system now offering either touch control on a free-standing 8.8-in.

The i8 Roadster becomes the third member of BMW's futuristic i family. "If you're playing in that segment with the very expensive cars, it's always [that] you have to have the newest one". The range for driving in electric mode has been increased to 33 miles in the Roadster and 34 miles in the Coupe. In the USA, i8 sales are down 72 percent through the first 10 months of 2017, with just 364 sold. In total, the i8 gets an additional 12 hp, up to 369 hp. The rear window doubles as a wind deflector can also be closed or opened independently without the roof. The battery pack capacity has been improved, from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt-hours. The electric range is now claimed to be 53 kilometres.

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

That, according to BMW, is enough to get you from zero to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds in the case of the Roadster, with the Coupe taking 4.4s, and remember that the i8 is a lot lighter than BMW's regular cars, thanks largely to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger cell construction.

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. A six-speed automatic transmission runs the engine's power to the rear wheels while the electric motor has a two-speed automatic gearbox turning the front wheels.

A new E-Copper finish has been added, as has a Donington Grey metallic for both the Coupe and the Roadster. Both new models of the BMW i8 shown in LA are due to enter showrooms as 2019 model year entrants. Top speed will be electronically-limited to 155 miles per hour. A Tera World Copper interior trim featuring premium cloth and leather upholstery in an Amido/E-Copper color scheme is new and exclusive to the Roadster.

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