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2017 LA Auto Show: BMW i8 finally takes its top off

November 30, 2017, 02:12 PM IST by Bilal Ahmed Firfiray
2017 LA Auto Show: BMW i8 finally takes its top off

The BMW i8 Roadster was long awaited since BMW showcased the i8 Spyder Concept back in 2012. After the endless delay, the Bavarian carmaker has finally revealed the open-top i8 hybrid sports car at the 2017 Los Angeles Motor Show. 

The i8 Roadster becomes the third member of BMW’s futuristic i family. The open-top i8 carries forward all the hardware of the i8 Coupe along with the design language. The CFRP construction ensures lightweight. Therefore, the drop-head i8 is just 60 kilograms heavier than its hard-top sibling. The all-electric roof opens and closes at a touch of a button in 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 50kmph. The soft-top can be stowed back in a cavity behind the seats in a perpendicular position. 

BMW has modified the windscreen as well in order to accommodate the new roof. The windscreen now gets a strengthened frame and larger quarter windows. The rear window doubles as a wind deflector can also be closed or opened independently without the roof. However, the 2+2 seating configuration is now changed to a strict two-seater.

The cabin has been updated similar to the i8 Coupe. BMW says that the Roadster gets special seats, bespoke tuning for springs, damping and Dynamic Stability Control. The stylish 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels come as standard. The 8.8-inch free-standing iDrive system now gets an option of touchscreen control. 

Powering the i8 Roadster is the same eDrive plug-in hybrid drive system but is now more powerful than before. The battery pack is upgraded to 11.6kWh over 7.1kWh. The electric motors now produce 105kW/143bhp and can drive the car to 105kmph on pure battery power which can be increased to 120kmph at a push of a (eDrive) button. The electric range is now claimed to be 53 kilometres. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder gasoline engine is still present putting out 230bhp. The combined power output of 369bhp and 570Nm is channelled through a six-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels.

The long-awaited i8 Roadster will go on sale alongside an updated version of the two-plus-two i8 coupe early next year. Pricing detail will be announced at the same time.

Tags:BMW,BMW i8,i8,los angeles auto show,i8 Roadster,BMW i8 Roadster
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