2017 Los Angeles: BMW introduces the i8 Roadster alongside an updated coupe

The BMW i8 Roadster arrives fashionably late to the party, but definitely brought one to the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

What’s going on?

After its introduction nearly four years ago, BMW finally introduced a production-ready drop-top version of the i8 mid-engine luxury sports coupe. The company pulled the wraps off of the new BMW i8 Roadster at the 2017 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Initially teased with the BMW i8 Concept Spyder from 2012, the new i8 Roadster is essentially that car made ready for sale at your local dealers. Alongside the new i8 Roadster is an updated coupe, sporting changes to its power- and drivetrain, along with updates to the interior and exterior.

What’s new about the BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe?

Specifically, the BMW i8 Roadster features a power-folding convertible top that opens and closes in under 16 seconds. It can also be operated on the go at speeds of up to 31 mph. The top unfortunately adds an additional 132 pounds to the i8’s curb weight. And for a car that focuses on its lightweight construction, that could make a huge difference. Though BMW promises the i8 Roadster performs just like the coupe, thanks to some extra power, suspension and chassis tweaks all around.

Otherwise, the Roadster is identical to the coupe, featuring a revised version of BMW’s eDrive power- and drivetrain. Output increases by 12 horsepower over the original system, netting a total of 369 horses.

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It begins with a BMW TwinPower Turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gas engine good for an impressive 228 hp and 236 lb-ft. It’s then paired with an electric motor providing the additional 141 horses. The result are 0-60 times of just 4.4 seconds for the roadster and 4.2 seconds for the coupe, with both electronically limited to 155 mph. When running in all-electric “ECO PRO” model, both i8s can travel on all-electric power at speed of up to 75 mph.

There’s also a new high-voltage battery that improves the i8’s EV capabilities. With greater capacity, its power ratings increase from 20 to 34 ampere hours while almost doubling its gross energy capacity from 7.1. to 11.6 kilowatt hours. As a result, the electric motor’s power rating jumps by 12 hp, versus the original i8’s 129 hp electric motor.

There are some new colors and interior bits as well

To help keep the i8 fresh, the company introduced two new exterior colors, E-Copper and Donnington Grey. Helping to complement the E-Copper exterior is a new Tera World Copper, while all models benefit from tweaks to the presentation of its carbon fiber interior trim.

BMW also introduced some new wheel designs to the i8 Coupe and Roadster, all of which are 20-inches by dimension.

Pricing and sales details weren’t published just yet, though we expected those to surface sometime in the near-future.

– By: Chris Chin

2017 LA: 2019 BMW i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster Photo Gallery

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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