BMW has finally shown us the 2019 i8 Roadster, after years of rumors. In addition to the new Roadster variant, the i8 is getting updates across the board including more power, additional electric range and more technology.
The big story here is the addition of the Roadster model. Unlike the 2+2 coupe model, this Roadster is shedding the two rear seats in favor of a new cloth top that power-folds in just a few seconds. BMW says the new top has extensive soundproofing and can stow with the push of a button at speeds up to 31 mph.
In addition to losing the rear seats, cargo storage is also down versus the coupe model in an effort to accommodate the folded top.
The new Roadster model is bringing with it additional changes to the entire i8 range. BMW has swapped out the lithium-ion battery pack with a slightly larger 11.9-kWh pack. The additional cells are adding 12 horsepower to the electric motor, while the turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine remains status quo. The combined power output now rests at 369 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque for the 2019 i8.
Naturally, the larger battery pack is also yielding a modest increase in electric range. BMW says the 2019 i8 can now travel up to 18 miles in pure electric mode, up from today’s 15 miles. The added power is also making for a faster car. The i8 Coupe can do zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, while the Roadster will be shortly behind at 4.4 seconds.
Inside BMW has updated the car’s software to include the latest version of its iDrive infotainment system and heads-up display. The new software is found on an 8.8-inch display in the dash.
Both the i8 Coupe and Roadster will go on sale this coming spring. BMW has not announced pricing just yet, but given today’s i8 Coupe starts right at $150,000, it is a safe bet the Roadster will come in north fo that figure.