BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

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In electric-only mode, the top speed is 120km/h, while the driving range is now up to 53km in the soft-top, and 55km in the coupe. The combined power output of 369bhp and 570Nm is channelled through a six-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. 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. Both the Roadster and coupe receive a new lithium-ion battery pack with an increased 11.6-kilowatt-hour capacity. That almost doubles the amount of storage available in the Roadster versus the i8 Coupe. In addition to adding power, the new battery pack enables a longer all-electric range. While the Coupe is a tenth faster to 62mph than the old one, at 4.4 seconds, the Roadster drops two tenths on that as it labours just that little bit harder to get its mass moving off the line. Top speed of both cars is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour. The electric motors now produce 105kW/143bhp and can drive the auto to 105kmph on pure battery power which can be increased to 120kmph at a push of a (eDrive) button. Also aiding rigidity on the Roadster are additional panels in the suspension and special front and rear struts.

I've always been a fan of the somewhat controversial design of the BMW i8 and I still am with this new version and especially with what they did with the new roadster. A new aluminum 3D printing process was used to make lightweight parts for the Roadster's roof.

Convertibles require more chassis strengthening than coupes, so the Roadster understandably is heavier - though we don't know by how much. Both variants get a head-up display, heated seats, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and three driving modes (Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro) as standard. And what Honda has cooked up is a proper supercar priced not a whole lot higher than an i8 Coupe.

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Both can be ordered with Tera World Copper interior trim, which is new to the i8, and features a cloth and leather upholstery combination in a two-tone (Amido/E-Copper) colour scheme.

Other than two new colors (E-Copper and Donnington Grey) and a badge behind the doors, the Coupe looks pretty much like its predecessor.

Before we look at the new Roadster, let's jump into the guts of this newly-updated i8.

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