BMW i8 Roadster
BMW used the LA show to finally show off the i8 Roadster. It looks every bit as desirable as an i8 drop-top ought to and was revealed alongside an updated BMW i8 Coupe.
The good news is it brings more of everything: improved battery technology means more energy, so the motor now produces 143bhp – up 12bhp, taking the car’s total petrol and electric output to 374bhp. The electric-only range tops 30 miles now, too.
The Roadster is very similar to the Coupe, using the same carbon-reinforced plastic core, whose rigid structure has maximised the size of the roof opening and negated the need for lots of extra strengthening. So the Roadster weighs just 60kg more than standard, at 1,595kg, while it retains the bold dihedral doors, albeit frameless versions.
Its roof is a folding fabric item that whirs backwards or forwards in “almost silent hush”, which is handy given the car’s powertrain tries to do the same thing. Opening or closing takes 16secs and can be done at up to 31mph, while the roof’s storage is designed to barely impede on luggage space. It folds in a Z-shape and is stored vertically, while some of the mechanism’s shapes have only been possible via 3D printing. Because the future.