New BMW i8 Roadster revealed alongside updated i8 Coupe

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

BMW says even the 1.5-liter turbo engine's sound has been improved, while both the Coupe and the Roadster are capable of reaching speeds of up to 65 miles per hour purely on electric power.

The Roadster wasn't the only i8-related development BMW unveiled in LA; since the i8 Coupe was introduced, electrification technology has evolved, and it benefits from the implements that have gone into the Roadster.

The 2018 i8 siblings share an upgraded drivetrain with electric motor power up to 141bhp from 129bhp. BMW has been teasing this model for quite some time, but we finally get the chance to see it uncovered. Of course it is also coupled with the electric drive system at 141 hp that brings that total power output to a respectable 369 horsepower.

This equates to a slightly slower 0-100kmh time of 4.6 seconds (i8 Coupe 4.5 secs).

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA
2018 BMW i8 Roadster adds open-top thrills to Munich's plug-in sports car

Now, five years on, the open roof is back with the debut of the i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Motor Show (although not the see-through doors), with a new tweaked and mildly titivated i8 Coupe alongside. The i8 roadster features a fabric soft top that can open or close in less than 16 seconds, at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. Driving on electricity alone, the i8 can reach a maximum speed of 75mph once the eDrive button has been pressed.

In real world conditions BMW says the i8 should average around 56 to the gallon around town and 40mpg on a run.

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. However, the Coupe retains hatchback cargo space and rear seats, while the Roadster only offers two seats.

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. A tiny, turbocharged aluminum rattlebox of an engine powered the i8's rear wheels and an electric motor churned the front for all-wheel drive excellence. The power bump comes from a significant boost in energy density, with cell capacity up from 20Ah to 34Ah. Mpg has also been improved to 149.8mpg for the Coupe and 134.5mpg for the Roadster, although these numbers are always notoriously hard to replicate in the real world, unless you charge frequently and mainly undertake short journeys.

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