BMW's just dropped its i8's top (and added more power)

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show Drop Top BMW i8 Roadster Revealed

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

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 has finally revealed the production-spec i8 Roadster at the ongoing LA motor show, five years after the original concept had been showcased at the 2012 Beijing motor show. In order to accommodate the Roadster's new folding roof mechanism, BMW has had to strengthen the car's bodywork, meaning it weighs 60kg more than the Coupe.

For the 2019 model year, BMW's answer seems to be the following: Please forget the roof, and here's 12 more horsepower and up to 3 miles of additional pure electric range.

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show Drop Top BMW i8 Roadster Revealed
2019 BMW i8 Roadster: This Is It, With Slightly More Horsepower and Range

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

In a win for lightweight design, the roof's aluminium connecting elements are produced in a new 3D printing process.

The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and Coupe go on sale in spring of 2018.

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Thanks to a more powerful electric motor, which is still mated to a 170kW version of BMW's 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine, the BMW i8 now boasts a total system output of 275kW, up from 266kW.

Despite hopes that BMW would do something properly interesting with the i8's plug-in hybrid powertrain, it gets a very light makeover. Reaching 60 miles per hour in the coupe takes 4.2 seconds, while the roadster is slightly slower at 4.4 seconds, but both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.

Inside there are a few changes other than the loss of the two rear seats - you get a new 8.8-inch touchscreen display, upgraded steering wheel and instrument panel as well as some other tweaks to the dashboard.

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Both cars are powered by a reworked version of the previous petrol-electric hybrid system. The open-top i8 carries forward all the hardware of the i8 Coupe along with the design language. It's cell capacity is increased from 20 Ah to 34 Ah, boosting energy capacity from 7.1 kWh to 11.6, giving it a net energy capacity of 9.4 kWh (usable).

Several adaptations had to be made, however, including the use of newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminum outer shell, as well as the windscreen frame made entirely from CFRP.

There are two new colors for the 2019 i8: E-Copper and Donington Grey.

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