• Active aerodynamic elements for efficiency
  • New metallic color options for 2019 MY
  • Same spacey styling as the previous model year
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • standard leather upholstery
  • new interior color schemes for the 2019 model year
  • turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor
  • 12 extra horsepower, up to 369 hp
  • 18 miles of all-electric range
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • top speed electronically limited at 155 mph
  • multiple drive modes for efficiency and sportiness
  • double wishbones in the front, five-link set-up in the rear
  • aluminum and CFRP for construction
  • Weighs just 3,381 pounds

A few extra electrons for ze German sci-fi machine

First unveiled in 2013, the BMW i8 was met with critical acclaim for its sharp space-age looks, high-tech hybrid powertrain, and impressive speed potential. First rolling off the production line in 2014, the i8 has remained a hugely desirable hybrid sports car throughout its brief lifetime. However, it’s been several years now since its initial release, which means it’s time for a refresh. As such, BMW introduced a mid-cycle refresh for the i8 Coupe at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, simultaneously dropping the sheets alongside a new open-top Roadster iteration. Overall, the tweaks are minor but do include some new styling options and a slightly beefier battery pack. Power and all-electric range see incremental increases, but is it enough to keep the Bavarian spaceship feeling as cutting edge as it should?

After all, we’ve seen some pretty impressive gains in the sporty hybrid segment, even in the past three years. Which begs the question – how does the 2019 i8 shape up amongst the current crop of segment offerings, and does this refresh lag against the times?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW i8.

  • 2019 BMW i8
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    228 @ 5800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    236 @ 3700
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8/10

2019 BMW i8 Coupe - Official video

Exterior

  • Active aerodynamic elements for efficiency
  • New metallic color options for 2019 MY
  • Same spacey styling as the previous model year
2019 BMW i8 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748136
Weighs just 3,381 pounds
Once again, gullwing doors provide an exit and entrance.

Outside, the 2019 BMW i8 doesn’t look all that different from the model that came before it. Up front, you once again get a flat, broad hood that curves down towards the pavement in a solid, wedge-like shape. The overhangs are short at both ends, while the headlight housings are narrow, drawing back along the fender line with underlined LED daytime running lights. Between the lights, you’ll find BMW’s famous kidney grille intakes, while higher on the hood is a horizontal vent to add an extra splash of aggression.

Moving to the side, we come across the i8’s full coupe shape glory. The roofline is long and low, complementing the low and wide stance, while lower aero lines that start just behind the front wheels draw upwards through the doors and rear fenders, lending the whole thing a forward-leaning visual rake. The rear end is plumped up to give the whole thing a beefier, muscular look, while slim taillights bookend with the front fascia.

2019 BMW i8 Exterior
- image 748154
Updates for the 2019 model year include a variety of new paint finishes, such as E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey Metallic. Accents are done in Frozen Grey metallic

Once again, gullwing doors provide an exit and entrance. Updates for the 2019 model year include a variety of new paint finishes, such as E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey Metallic. Accents are done in Frozen Grey metallic, while Bimmer also added new designs for the lightweight alloy wheels. Mounted on the B-pillars you’ll find “Coupe” badges to help you identify the hardtop model, as opposed to the Roadster model.

Per usual, the i8 also gets a good deal of aerodynamic features to make the most of its potential speed and efficiency. For example, up front the kidney grille comes equipped with an air flap control and air curtains to help manipulate the air appropriately, opening up to keep hot stuff cold, then closing again to make the nose a little more slippery. There’s also a flat underbody, contoured side skirts, and air ducts between the rear lights and roof. Finally, more air is now directed through to the sides of the car’s fenders and arches, rather than through the hood.

left right
Updated BMW i8 Previous BMW i8

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 110.23
Length (Inches) 184.60
Width (Inches) 76.45
Height (Inches) 50.90
Track, front/rear (Inches) 64.72/67.75
Ground Clearance 4.60

Interior

  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • standard leather upholstery
  • new interior color schemes for the 2019 model year
  • all-digital instrumentation
  • 8.8-inch touchscreen
  • comes with a bevy of driver assists and tech features
2019 BMW i8 Interior
- image 748139
standard leather upholstery
As you might imagine, the i8 gets a full complement of infotainment features to go with the high-tech theme

Inside, the i8 once again arrives with a driver-oriented control layout. Behind the standard leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, there’s a multifunctional instrument display, while the 2+2 seating arrangement comes equipped with full-leather upholstery and “Giga” style trim bits. Get the Coupe, and the color scheme will be standard as Ivory White, while options include dark Amido coloring for the interior trim, or the optional Halo trim with cloth and leather upholstery finished in Carum and Dalbergia coloring. There’s also a new Tera World Copper interior option, which comes with cloth and leather upholstery in an Amido and E-Copper color scheme.

On the steering wheel, there’s a set of shift paddles for manual gear changes if desired. There are also standard heated seats for the driver and passenger, plus fully electric adjustability.

As you might imagine, the i8 gets a full complement of infotainment features to go with the high-tech theme. The instrumentation is totally digital, while the Control Display puts the car’s advanced energy management into visual representations. The displays are also adaptable – put it into Sport mode, and the primary readout will shift into orange, circular dials, while Comfort mode shows a blue “power meter,” and Eco Pro mode provides an “efficiency gauge.”

2019 BMW i8 Interior
- image 748156
2+2 seating arrangement
The instrumentation is totally digital, while the Control Display puts the car’s advanced energy management into visual representations.

Underpinning the whole thing is the iDrive 6.0 infotainment system platform. Navigation and a Driving Assistant are both standard, while a Touch Controller in the center console and an 8.8-inch touchscreen display provide additional inputs.

Standard spec throws in a 12-speaker audio system from Harman Kardon, plus an HD tuner and digital radio. A BMW Heads-up Display is also standard, providing readouts on the current engine rpm, the current gear selected, and a shift meter while in Sport mode. There’s also standard cruise control with automatic braking, plus the Driving Assistant Package with Surround View, Frontal Collision Warning, City Collision Mitigation, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Park Distance Control, front and rear parking sensors, Automatic High-beam headlights, Speed Limit Info, Cross Traffic Alert, and Side and Top View cameras.

Finally, the i8 comes with a bevy of digital services, such as BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive, which offer more info on the car status, powertrain efficiency, mobility planning, and more. BMW says these services act like a personal assistant, integrating with your smartphone or smartwatch by way of the Open Mobility Cloud platform.

Drivetrain

  • turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor
  • 12 extra horsepower, up to 369 hp
  • 18 miles of all-electric range
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • top speed electronically limited at 155 mph
  • multiple drive modes for efficiency and sportiness
2015 BMW i8 Drivetrain
- image 518243
At the heart of it is a hybrid AWD system with a variety of hybrid-assisted and all-electric driving modes

While awesome styling and the latest digital interior tech are nice, the i8’s real allure is in the powertrain department. As Bimmer’s primary test bed for electric and hybrid systems destined for use in further i products, the i8 uses the latest and greatest that the brand has to offer.

At the heart of it is a hybrid AWD system with a variety of hybrid-assisted and all-electric driving modes. The traditional internal combustion half is provided by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, which comes equipped with direct injection and Valvetronic variable valve timing to simultaneously maximize both output and efficiency. Peak output from the three-cylinder comes to 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed to the rear axle by way of a six-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox. Improvements for the 2019 model year include a more aggressive exhaust note and lower emissions.

Rounding out the electric side of the hybrid equation is a single synchronous electric motor, which comes mounted in the front of the vehicle and drives the front axle, providing the i8 with AWD grip. Juiced by a lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the underbody of the car, the electric motor’s grunt hits the wheels by way of a two-speed automatic gearbox.

Both the ICE and the electric motor are used to maximize forward thrust under heavy acceleration, with the gas-drinker switched off when cruising. That means the i8 gets a little zero-emission all-electric driving range to go with the speed.

2019 BMW i8 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748129
aluminum and CFRP for construction
The most notable updates for the 2019 i8 are centered on the electric bits with an increase in electric output – up to 141 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 12 horsepower, resulting in a net increase to 369 horses at full chat.

The most notable updates for the 2019 i8 are centered on the electric bits. Cell capacity was increased to 34 Ah from the previous 20 Ah, while energy capacity increases from 7.1 to 11.6 kWh. Complementing the meatier battery is an optimized eDrive system, with the net result being an increase in electric output – up to 141 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 12 horsepower, resulting in a net increase to 369 horses at full chat. Put it in pure EV mode, and you’ll also get up to 18 miles of all-electric driving, a 30-percent increase overall.

Unfortunately, this slight bump in output doesn’t do much in terms of the performance numbers. The 0-to-60 mph run still takes 4.2 seconds, while top speed is once again electronically limited at 155 mph. However, the real benefit of this upgrade is an increase to the number of scenarios in which the i8 can be driven in all-electric mode, reaching 65 mph purely on electric power. Hit the eDrive mode, and the i8 can reach speeds of 75 mph before the ICE kicks in fully. Smash the throttle, and the ICE will kick over automatically. BMW approximates fuel returns at 70 MPGe.

2019 BMW i8 Exterior
- image 748134
top speed electronically limited at 155 mph
The energy management is smart as well, integrating with the navigation system to anticipate when all-electric motivation will be best utilized.

The energy management is smart as well, integrating with the navigation system to anticipate when all-electric motivation will be best utilized. Further customization can be had thanks to the five different drive modes, configurable by the Driving Dynamics Control switch and eDrive button in the interior. These adjust the vehicle set-up and drive system operating strategy and can be split into two categories – hybrid drive and all-electric drive, with settings like Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro for the former, and Comfort and Eco Pro for the latter. Hybrid mode sees the electric motor boosting the ICE, while the ICE keeps the battery topped off. Finally, Sport mode sharpens the throttle response, providing maximum electric power in front while also maximizing electricity recovery through the standard regenerative braking function.

Owners are also encouraged to keep their packs full of electrons by way of the new charging cable, which can top off the battery in about 3 hours when plugged into BMW’s branded 7.2-kW i Charging Station. The Bavarians are also offering a ChargeNow card that provides access to “the world’s largest network of public charging stations.”

2019 BMW i8 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748128
Same spacey styling as the previous model year

BMW i8 powertrain and performance specs

| Drive concept | Hybrid-specific all-wheel drive: combustion engine sends power to the
rear wheels, electric motor sends power to the front wheels |
| Drive type | hybrid AWD |
| Engine | rear-mounted turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder |
| Electric motor | front-mounted synchronous |
| Engine transmission | six-speed automatic |
| Motor transmission | two-speed automatic |
| Engine output | 228 HP @ 5,800 RPM, 236 LB-FT @ 3,700 RPM |
| Motor output | 141 HP @ 4,800 RPM, 184 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM |
| 0-to-60 mph | 4.2 seconds |
| Top speed | 155 mph (electronically limited) |
| Top Speed (electric) | 75 mph |
| All-electric range | 18 miles |
| Estimated fuel economy | 70 MPGe |
| High-voltage battery | |
| Storage technology | Lithium-ion |
| Voltage | V 355 |
| Battery cell capacity | Ah 34 |
| Energy capacity (gross) | kWh 11.6 |
| Charging time for 80 % charge | <IMG//> Chassis And Handling

  • double wishbones in the front, five-link set-up in the rear
  • aluminum and CFRP for construction
  • weighs just 3,381 pounds
2019 BMW i8 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748148
12 extra horsepower, up to 369 hp

Supporting the i8’s slick hybrid powertrain is a good amount of material tech for the chassis and handling bits, with a major focus on maximizing low weight through design. As such, the i8 comes with loads of aluminum, which was applied to the powertrain, battery, suspension, crash protection components, and other structural components. The chassis also incorporates lots of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, to go with the aluminum. As a result, the hybrid tips the scales at a surprisingly low 3,381 pounds.

Managing the heft are double wishbones for the front bits and a five-link set-up in the rear. Standard spec includes Dynamic Damper Control, plus unique suspension tuning as compared to the Roadster model.

Prices

2019 BMW i8 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748151
turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor

The 2019 BMW i8 is scheduled to make its sales launch in the spring of 2018. Pricing has not yet been announced as of this writing, but is expected to slot in around the same spot as the current model, which gets a price tag starting at $143,400.

Competition

Acura NSX

2016 Acura NSX
- image 669474

In the hybrid sports car game, the BMW i8 has one very clear competitor – the second-generation Acura NSX. Packing a stout twin-turbo V-6 and whopping three electric motors, this mid-engine hero blows away the i8 when it comes to performance, making more than 573 horsepower when you put your foot to the floor. Hitting the pavement through an advanced AWD system and nine-speed transmission, the 0-to-60 mph benchmark is done in a blazing 3.1 seconds, while top speed is pegged at 191 mph. Pricing, however, is a bit above that of the i8, starting at $156,000.

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura NSX.

Tesla Model S P100D

Tesla Model S Gets Upgraded Battery Pack; Now as Fast as LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder
- image 686181
Telsa P100D 2.28 Seconds

If you don’t mind ditching the internal combustion completely, the Tesla Model S is a good direction to go. Sitting at the top of the line is the P100D, which comes with the biggest battery of the bunch and more than enough power to keep up with the Bimmer. Thanks to its 100-kWh battery pack and dual electric motor drive system, this badass blender hits 60 mph in a scant 2.3 seconds, making it the quickest production car on the planet. It’ll also go 315 miles between sessions at the plug, which combines nicely with the four-door exterior and decent storage, making it rather practical as well. Pricing starts at $135,000.

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S.

Conclusion

2019 BMW i8 Exterior
- image 748149
multiple drive modes for efficiency and sportiness
At the end of the day, the i8 has built a reputation for looking good, going quick, and offering cutting-edge technology, and none of that changes this time around.

|align=center

All told, the i8 is one of the most successful hybrid sports cars currently on the market, and it’s not surprising the Bavarians kept things simple with this first update.

That said, we would have loved it if BMW took the opportunity to do more. Obviously, we think a faster iteration would have been the best direction to go, as the hybrid sports car segment isn’t slowing down by any measure. Quite the opposite, in fact, as in just the past 3 years, we’ve seen the competition jumping ahead by leaps and bounds.

It just doesn’t feel as novel as it once did in 2013, especially when placed against faster, more impressive models like the second-generation Acura NSX.

At the end of the day, the i8 has built a reputation for looking good, going quick, and offering cutting-edge technology, and none of that changes this time around. It just doesn’t feel as novel as it once did in 2013, especially when placed against faster, more impressive models like the second-generation Acura NSX.

So then, is it really worth going for the newer model? That’s questionable. It’s a little bit better, but not much, so what are you really getting with the badge? For one, there’s the bling factor, something the NSX can’t quite match. The interior is also quite nice, with loads of high-end materials and technology, plus those dramatic gullwing doors.

Maybe we’ve just been spoiled with the rapid changes we’re accustomed to seeing with each modern product cycle, or maybe we’re spoiled with the insane speeds we’re used to seeing from other hybrid sports cars. Either way, the i8 remains a slick and sporty hybrid that’s sure to draw lust and admiration. For now.

  • Leave it
    • * Horsepower and EV range upgrades are negligible
    • * Much faster alternatives already available
    • * Minimal upgrades over previous model year

References

BMW i8

2018 BMW i8 Roadster Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748122

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 522680

Read our full review on the current 2017 BMW i8.

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
- image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

Press release

Today, the allure of sustainable driving is poised to enter another new dimension as BMW introduced the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster matching BMW eDrive technology with the Ultimate Driving Machine. The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster takes the BMW i8’s combination of locally emission-free mobility, high-caliber performance and adds the top-down driving experience. The Roadster offers a whole new sensation of freedom, opening the door to virtually silent driving with zero CO2 emissions and bringing an extra edge of purity to open-air driving. An optimized BMW eDrive technology means more power – total output increased to 369 hp (+12 hp), a refined high-voltage battery with increased capacity and range, the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles (preliminary) in purely electric driving. With hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, combustion engine driving the rear wheels and the electric motor driving the front wheels, acceleration 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.2/4.4 seconds (preliminary) Coupe and Roadster respectively with both reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Following the world premiere of the first-ever 2019 BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017, sales will commence in spring 2018. Simultaneously, the new 2019 BMW i8 Coupe will also be available at certified BMW centers with both models offering LifeDrive vehicle architecture designed for BMW i cars. Price to be announced closer to market launch.

Vehicle concept and driving experience. The BMW i8 has performed the role of sports car of the future with extraordinary success since 2014. The progressively designed 2+2-seater doubles up as an eye-catching object of desire and a technological pioneer. Indeed, the BMW i8 has been the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car since it first hit the roads in 2014 and has collected an array of awards in recognition of its visionary design and trailblazing vehicle concept. The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid drive system has won the International Engine of the Year Award three years in succession (2015 – 2017) and paved the way for the constantly expanding number of plug-in hybrid models from the BMW and MINI brands.

The aluminum Drive module combines the powertrain, high-voltage battery, suspension, crash system and structural functions, while the Life module takes the form of a passenger cell made out of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster also benefits from a light-weight construction, complete with low center of gravity and even weight distribution. The aerodynamically optimized exterior – with model-specific gullwing doors and a soft-top roof that also displays great visual lightness – is a fine exponent of the signature BMW i design language. The result is a two-seater boasting a distinctive and elegantly silhouette, and delivering an immediate promise of instantaneous power ready to be unleashed.

The BMW i8 Roadster: two-seater with electrically operated soft-top roof and additional on-board storage space. Passengers inside the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster can either enjoy the open sky or a high-quality, all-season fabric soft-top with additional soundproofing. The electrically operated convertible top, opens and closes in less than 16 seconds and while the vehicle is in motion at up to 31 mph.

The BMW i8 Roadster is alone among its rivals in offering owners a fabric soft-top which stows away into a perpendicular position in the rear when opened and therefore takes up very little space. The three segments of the roof fold vertically in a ‘Z’. Additional storage space between the roof box and the seats for the driver and front passenger is around 3.5 ft3 (preliminary figure). In combination with the storage area in the rear, which can accommodate 4.7 ft3 cargo, the rear compartment helps to ensure the open-top version of the plug-in hybrid sports car is also as well equipped as possible for everyday use.

Opening the roof raises the rear window automatically by around 1.9 inches into a comfort position. By raising the rear window, the air flow is guided towards the rear, reducing wind turbulence optimizing the passenger’s experience. The driver can adjust the height of the rear window at the touch of a button to control the impact of the inflowing air as desired.

Intelligent lightweight design and innovative production technology also play a key role in the construction of the soft-top. For example, aluminum elements connecting the roof mechanism with the body of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are produced in a new 3D printing process. This manufacturing method for aluminum components breaks new ground in the automotive industry and allows the topologically optimized bracings to be produced in a geometric form, which would not be possible using conventional casting techniques and ensures an optimal balance between component rigidity and weight.

Optimized BMW eDrive technology: more power, increased range; electric driving experience raised another notch. Rigorously developed BMW eDrive technology powers both the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe. The number of driving situations where the electric motor is solely responsible for powering the car has been significantly increased. By contrast, the combustion engine is only brought into play when accelerating hard, and is switched off again far more frequently with a measured driving style. The optimized operating strategy of the intelligent energy management highlights the future-focused character of the new BMW i8 Coupe and ensures that drivers of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster can enjoy silent open-top driving with zero local emissions.

Underpinning this new level of locally emission-free electric mobility is the updated version of the lithium-ion battery developed for the BMW i8. The high-voltage unit is located centrally in the car’s underbody and its cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah and gross energy capacity from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours (kWh, net energy capacity: 9.4 kWh). Plus, the cell configuration allows a 12 hp increase in peak output to 141 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, lacing quick sprints on pure-electric power with an even sharper streak of dynamism.

The electric range of the i8 has also been increased. The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles (preliminary) in purely electric driving. And that broadens the reach of all-electric mobility well beyond the city limits.

Design. The BMW i8 is the world’s first sports car to be developed from the outset primarily under the banner of sustainability. Groundbreaking lightweight design, systematic improvement of aerodynamics and advanced plug‑in hybrid technology. The framework for the concept’s implementation was provided by the brand new LifeDrive vehicle architecture for BMW i models, whose horizontally split structure comprising an aluminum chassis and a CFRP passenger cell offers an exceptional degree of design freedom. The visionary styling of the BMW i8 Coupe therefore succeeds in expressing not just the car’s dynamic performance credentials, but also its outstanding efficiency. A string of prestigious accolades, including the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Award, testify to the design’s quality and allure. And the BMW i8 Roadster translates the unmistakable BMW i design language to another vehicle concept, fusing the dynamic proportions of the i8 with signature roadster features to give it a character all of its own.

Their proportions, lines and surface design mark out the BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW i8 Roadster as belonging to a new breed of sports car. A flat hood, visible aerodynamics measures, short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large track widths and an elongated roofline create an aura of dynamism, lightness and efficiency. On an individual level, meanwhile, the BMW i8 Coupe stands out as an extremely sporty 2+2-seater, while the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster exudes the freedom of open-top motoring for two.

The BMW i8 Roadster: emotion-stirring design promises an intense driving experience and unadulterated freedom. The design of the BMW i8 Roadster is awash with individual highlights that radiate elegance. The soft-top roof has a visual lightness to go with its low physical weight and serves as a defining element of the silhouette in reinforcing the road-hugging impression made by the car’s low center of gravity. The body’s dynamic wedge shape can also be best appreciated when viewing the two-seater in profile.

When opened, the BMW i8 Roadster’s broad roof retracts fully into the rear end, lending greater emphasis still to the car’s low-slung silhouette. The CFRP passenger cell’s robust structure means the soft-top could be designed with generous width and so create an amply sized window to the sky. The rear window extends into a comfort position as the roof folds away and can serve as a draught stop in any setting.

The B-pillars of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are emblazoned with beautifully made model-specific badges bearing the inscription “Roadster”. A similar logo can be found on the tail of the sporty two-seater.

New exterior paint finishes, exclusive light-alloy wheels. The design cues common to both the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster include the gullwing doors that open forwards and upwards as well as optimized aerodynamics. The low hood, BMW kidney grille, air flap control system, Air Curtains in the front apron, flat underbody, contoured side skirts, “stream flow” lines of the car’s flanks, and air ducts between the rear lights and roof frame allow the air to be guided effectively. The flow of cooling air at the front of each model has now been re-routed. Instead of rushing out through the outlet in the hood, the air escapes at the sides of the car near the wheel arches and into the underbody. This ensures a pleasant cabin temperature is maintained at all times, especially when travelling in the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster with the roof down.

E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic have been added to the choice of exterior paint finishes available for the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster. Both are combined with accents in Frozen Grey metallic.

The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster is equipped as standard with exclusive 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels in Radial-spoke style bicolor design with mixed-size tires (Jet Black design optional). Intelligent lightweight design also make an impact here, with each wheel weighing around 2.2 pounds less than the lightest wheels previously available for the BMW i8. In addition to the standard 20-inch light-alloy wheels, customers can choose from another four light-alloy wheel variants with the same dimensions.

The BMW i8 Coupe also includes a model-specific design feature indicating its identity: “Coupe” badging on its B-pillars.

Innovative interior design in a range of new looks. The progressive style of the BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster also shines through clearly in their interior design. Standard specification for both models includes a sports steering wheel and multifunctional instrument display, plus Giga interior trim comprising full-leather upholstery in Ivory White for the Coupe and Ivory White/Black for the Roadster. Giga interior trim can alternatively be specified in dark Amido for both models and there is also the option of Halo interior trim featuring cloth/leather upholstery in a Carum/Dalbergia color scheme.

New to the portfolio for the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe is Tera World Copper interior trim, a high-end option featuring cloth/leather upholstery in an Amido/E-Copper color scheme.

Powertrain, chassis and body. With its intoxicating blend of advanced BMW eDrive technology, BMW TwinPower Turbo technology internal combustion engine, sophisticated chassis technology, hybrid-specific all-wheel drive and rigorously applied lightweight design measures, the BMW i8 has come to epitomize the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine. Since its market debut in 2014, it has established itself as the world’s highest-selling plug‑in hybrid sports car. It succeeds in melding sports car performance qualities with the sort of fuel economy and emissions usually associated with compact models. The LifeDrive architecture, meanwhile, ensures a perfect distribution of weight.

The new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are powered by a drive duo in the form of a hybrid synchronous electric motor and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology 1,499 cc 3-cylinder gasoline engine (228 hp and 236 lb-ft). The engine’s power is channeled to the rear wheels through a 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The end result is a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system that glues the car to the road.

A refined high-voltage battery and an electric motor with more power. The constant process of development has enhanced the performance capabilities offered by BMW’s eDrive technology. The energy capacity of the latest version of the model-specific lithium-ion battery is far greater, battery cell capacity having increased from 20 to 34 ampere hours (Ah) and gross energy capacity from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours (kWh, net energy capacity: 9.4 kWh). This advance is rooted primarily in advances made to the battery cell technology, which in turn stem from the BMW Group’s ever-increasing expertise in the field of electrical energy storage.

These extra energy reserves have made it possible to raise the electric motor’s peak output by 12 hp to 141 hp. In typical electric motor fashion, it generates its maximum torque of 184 lb-ft from standstill, which means it is ideally equipped to deliver razor-sharp responses to the slightest movement of the accelerator. The electric motor developed by the BMW Group also stands out with its consistent power delivery up to very high revs.

The battery cells’ higher capacity means that the proportion of all-electric driving can be increased substantially, even in hybrid mode. With the default driving mode engaged, both the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are capable of pulling away and reaching speeds of up to 65 mph purely on the electric motor’s power, making it possible to drive with zero local emissions. And if the eDrive button is pressed, the all-electric threshold of both models is increased to 75 mph.

The new high-voltage battery benefits the electric range of the two plug-in hybrid sports cars too. The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles in purely electric driving, almost 30 percent more than before (preliminary figures).

Three-cylinder gasoline engine with improved sound and lower emissions. The i8’s combustion engine has also undergone further optimization to ready it for the new Coupe and Roadster. The turbocharged three-cylinder unit featuring direct injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing extracts a maximum output of 228 hp from its displacement of just 1.5 liters, plus peak torque of 236 lb-ft. It is pleasantly refined and generates a distinctive soundtrack that now has an even sportier note when its power reserves are called upon.

The system output produced by the electric motor and gasoline engine acting in unison has increased to 369 hp in the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster. The new BMW i8 Coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds (preliminary), while the first ever BMW i8 Roadster accelerates in 4.4 seconds (preliminary). Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Combined fuel economy in everyday driving, both models return fuel economy and emissions figures that undercut those for conventionally powered sports cars with similar outputs by around 50 per cent, yielding approximately 70 MPGe (preliminary figures).

Maximized driving pleasure with intelligent energy management and hybrid-specific all-wheel drive. In hybrid mode, the electric motor provides a power boost to assist the engine when vigorous acceleration is required. The electric motor is also able to recuperate energy and feed it to the high-voltage battery on the overrun and under braking. The gasoline engine’s high-voltage starter-generator can similarly generate additional reserves of electricity, thereby ensuring that sufficient energy is on tap at all times for the electric drive system in the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster.

This blend of dynamism and efficiency is further honed by the intelligent energy management’s proactive function. When the navigation system’s route guidance function is activated, the energy management ensures the electric motor is employed as extensively and as wisely as possible from an efficiency point of view. The system analyses the route in full and prompts the powertrain management to run on purely electric power, particularly over low-speed sections of the journey.

BMW i8 Roadster with model-specific chassis and body features. The high-end chassis technology in the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster is based on a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle, whose aluminum components have been engineered for optimum weight and rigidity using specific design techniques and production processes. Also standard on both models is Dynamic Damper Control. The bespoke tuning of the suspension and damping systems, the specially configured steering characteristics, a firmer roll stabilization set-up and precise tweaks of the DSC parameters together ensure the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster boasts all of the plug-in hybrid sports car’s hallmark handling and performance qualities.

The approach of making systematic use of lightweight design measures has been meticulously adapted to the specific requirements of the Roadster model. The open-top two-seater comes with newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminum outer shell, while the windscreen frame is made entirely from CFRP. This ultra-strong high-tech material is ideally equipped to provide exceptional rigidity, maximizing the car’s occupant protection in case of a roll-over situation. CFRP is also used to manufacture the side skirts with their extra-large cross-section. The skirts are a contributory factor in the body’s stiffness, as are the additional panels in the rear suspension and the specially designed struts for the front and rear axle. Thanks to the high-strength CFRP body, the chassis and body elements specific to the BMW i8 Roadster result in an extremely small weight gain when compared to other open-top models. The unladen weight of the new BMW i8 Roadster stands at 3,513 pounds, just 132 pounds more in approximate terms than that of the new BMW i8 Coupe (preliminary figures).

Controls, equipment, BMW Connected, ConnectedDrive and 360° ELECTRIC. Both the display and control concept and the equipment of the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster serve to enhance their exhilarating sports car feel and the intense hybrid driving experience. As well as its multifunction buttons, the leather sports steering wheel also comes with shift paddles for changing gear manually, while the standard heated seats for the driver and front passenger are electrically adjustable.

Driving Dynamics Control switch and eDrive button provide five driving modes. Drivers will find an eDrive button in the center console alongside the Driving Experience Control switch to allow them to adapt not just the vehicle’s set-up but also the drive system’s operating strategy. This provides a total of five driving modes to choose from: hybrid drive with COMFORT, SPORT or ECO PRO settings and all-electric driving in COMFORT or ECO PRO mode. If the eDrive button is pressed in either COMFORT mode – which strikes an even balance between sporty and efficient characteristics – or ECO PRO mode (designed for particularly fuel-efficient driving), power is provided by the electric motor alone up to a speed of 75 mph. The combustion engine will only cut in automatically if the battery’s energy reserves are nearly fully depleted or the driver summons full power via kickdown.

It is in SPORT mode that the intelligently controlled interaction between electric motor and combustion engine can be experienced at its most intense. Both power units deliver extra-sharp performance, accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, SPORT mode also activates maximum energy recuperation on the overrun and under braking. The intelligent energy management’s mode of operation can be visualized by calling up the energy flow graphic in the Control Display via the iDrive menu.

The instrument cluster takes the form of a fully digital multifunctional instrument display, which shows the car’s speed and driving status information in a format and color scheme selected to suit the driving mode engaged. Traditional, orange-colored circular dials appear in SPORT mode, in COMFORT mode, a blue “power meter” display keeps the driver up to speed on what the electric motor is up to, and ECO PRO mode supplements this with an efficiency gauge.

Navigation system Professional and Driving Assistant as standard. The Navigation system Professional, also included as standard, is controlled using the latest iDrive 6.0 operating system, comprising both a Touch Controller on the center console and an 8.8-inch freestanding touch screen Control Display. The main menu is now presented on the screen in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode. The standard audio system features a 12 speaker 360 W Harman Kardon HiFi system with HD tuner for digital radio reception.

When it comes to driver assistance systems, the BMW i8 Coupe and BMW i8 Roadster are both equipped as standard with a model-specific BMW Head-Up Display. When the driver is shifting gears manually in SPORT mode, this switches to a sport display that adds an rpm readout, gear indicator and Optimum Shift Indicator. Also included as standard are a cruise control system with braking function as well as the Driving Assistant Package including Surround View. This system comprises Frontal Collision warning with City Collision Mitigation Daytime Pedestrian Protection Park Distance Control with sensors at the front and rear, Automatic Highbeams, Speed Limit Info and Cross Traffic Alert and Side and Top View Cameras.

BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive: sustainable mobility as an integral part of digital lifestyles. The enthralling driving experience offered by a plug-in hybrid sports car is enriched by the digital services offered by BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive. Intelligent connectivity between vehicle, driver and the outside world paves the way for remarkably efficient mobility, increases comfort, expands the infotainment offering and helps with individual mobility planning.

BMW Connected is a personal mobility assistant that interfaces the vehicle with the customer’s selected touchpoints, such as a smartphone or smartwatch, via the flexible Open Mobility Cloud platform. This turns the personal mobility assistant into a seamlessly integrated component of the driver’s digital life, available anytime and anywhere. The new BMW i8 Coupe and first ever BMW i8 Roadster also benefit from the latest BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ digital services. These include intelligent route planning, complete with refueling stops at a charging station or filling station (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the current trip status by text message and live link (Share Live Trip Status), personalized display of the relevant in-vehicle information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route guidance to a smartphone or smartwatch once the car has been parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and linking of contact details and addresses so they can be imported directly into the navigation system (My Destinations).

ConnectedDrive Services are also included as standard, providing access to functions such as Real Time Traffic Information and On-Street Parking Information, as well as the Concierge Services. The standard built-in SIM card also allows drivers of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster to use Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic locating and accident severity detection. With the new BMW Teleservice Accident Assistance, the vehicle now also detects low-speed collisions below the threshold for airbag deployment. The driver receives a message in the iDrive display offering to contact the BMW Accident Assistance service directly. A push of a button is all it takes to obtain professional support from the BMW Accident Assistance team, who can also put the customer in touch with a BMW Service Partner if necessary. ConnectedDrive Services are also required to access additional services such as Online Entertainment and unlimited internet access, as well as to integrate various apps.

360° ELECTRIC: new charging cable, BMW i Charging Station. 360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the first ever BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster has been optimized and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Charging Station which can supply 7.2 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery and can fully charge it in under 3 hours. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging station

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