Updated BMW i8 and new i8 Roadster revealed

BMW takes covers off i8 Roadster

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.

Taking advantage of the new version of the auto being introduced, BMW offers a slight but interesting increase in power.

The addition of the soft-top roof has resulted in a weight increase of 60 kilos over the coupe. If you really want to make sure your new i8 sticks out from the pack, you have to go with the new Roadster.

Going into more detail, the aluminium parts of the hood have been made using 3D printing, in order to obtain greater precision, while BMW claims to have worked thoroughly on the insulation - both thermal and acoustic. 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 BMW i8 Roadster features a fully electric fabric roof, which takes just 15 seconds to fold or open at speeds up to 30mph; when the roof is stowed, the car's rear window raises slightly to reduce air turbulence in the cabin, while the roof and its mechanism are created to allow for some storage space behind the front seats. The rear window doubles as a wind deflector can also be closed or opened independently without the roof.

The petrol unit, which is mated to a six-speed automatic, is unchanged in terms of output (231hp and 320Nm) but the electric motor gets about 12hp more, increasing total system output to 374hp.

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For those not up-to-date with BMWs nomenclature and model lineup, we are talking about the i8 facelift, which is also getting a much-awaited Roadster version.

Pricing has not been announced, but a BMW representative told us the i8 Roadster will start "north of $150,000".

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.

I've always been a fan of the somewhat controversial design of the BMW i8 and I still am with this new version and especially with what they did with the new roadster.

Also new is BMW's latest 360° electric charging system. Top speed of both cars is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.

It sure looks tempting in this new hue, called E-Copper.

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