BMW i8 Roadster 2018 - hybrid sports auto gets even more appeal

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Power on both models has been increased and so has range with the cars now capable of zero emission motoring for up to 34 miles, nearly twice the distance possible on the original i8.

The vehicle can switch from a coupe to a roadster in just 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). 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.

While combined fuel consumption jumps 0.2L/100km to 2.1L/100km.

BMW has also upgraded the battery pack for both new models, raising capacity to 11.6kWh up from the previous i8's 7.1kWh.

No word yet on Australian availability or pricing, we will keep you updated. When retracted, the soft-top folds into a compact package and stows away in a perpendicular position, creating around 100 liters of storage space behind the seats. The lithium-ion battery cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah.

BMW made the 2019 i8 greener than the current one by putting a bigger emphasis on pure electric drive.

2018 BMW i8 Interior is only slightly updated
2018 BMW i8 Interior is only slightly updated

Another stylistic change over the facelifted i8 Coupe is the deletion of the rear side windows. The rear window is also a wind deflector and has been modified to close or open independently of the roof. That allows for a 9-kW/12-hp increase of the electric motor's peak output, which is now 105 kW (143 hp).

Options on both models include head-up display, laser high beam system, and an acoustic pedestrian warning system, which operates at speeds up to 30km/h when the auto is operating in electric-only mode.

As for the exterior innovations, there are new air intakes that BMW says are there to improve aerodynamics.

The liftback tailgate of the i8 Coupe also makes way for a lengthy engine cover on the i8 Roadster. Now rated at 105kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the electric motor drives the front wheels.

Other new bits in the Roadster's cabin includes freshly designed seats, an optional heads-up display and a a range of new trim options, including carbon-fibre elements for the dashboard and ceramic controls within the centre console. The engine remains the same, the 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol we've come to know and love. Power to the rear wheels continues to be transmitted through a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor on the front axle uses a 2-speed gearbox.

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