BMW’s i8 hybrid sports car is modern automotive icon, but it’s about to be superseded by itself in the form of the i8 Roadster.
The BMW i8 first made its coupé debut way back in 2009 and since then fans of convertibles have been waiting an age to see a roadster version of the super hybrid. And after some drawn out teasing, BMW has finally take the covers off the i8 Roadster at the LA Motor Show.
Now the coupé version was one good-looking car that made it to the road with swathes of its futuristic concept design intact, and the i8 Roadster retains that sci-fi look only without the roof.
Without a hard roof, the i8’s swooping angular deign is emphasised with the Roadster making it look like something that wouldn’t be out of place in Tony Stark’s garage. It’s nothing short of visually stunning.
To retain the sports car performance of the i8 Roadster, BMW has made liberal use of carbon-reinforced plastic to allow for the i8 to loose the coupé roof yet not have a load of extra strengthening to compensate for a loss of rigidity that a roof provides. The Roadster is a mere 60kg over its coupé sibling.
Speaking of performance, BMW also revealed a refreshed i8 with boosted battery power to throw an extra 12bhp into the car’s electric motor, which now puts out 143bph. Combined with the petrol engine, both the new coupé and roadster i8s have 374 rampaging horses beneath the chassis.
BMW hasn’t skimped on the tech either, with the i8’s sporting refreshed digital dashboards and a tablet-like 8.8-inch infotainment display controlled with BMW’s ever-reliable iDrive system; there are cars out there with more impressive tech, but none that look this good.
You’ll need a spare £100,000 plus to get your hands on the new i8s, with the i8 Roadster costing a heavy £124,730. But for that price you’ll get kit such as laser headlights and pedestrian detection, and you’ll also be buying a slice of automotive future once the new i8s go on sale early 2018.
Roadster or coupé; which i8 do you prefer? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.