Watch The New BMW I8 Roadster And Coupe

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The new i8 Roadster is a soft-top convertible hybrid-electric performance carBMW

Inside offers a cozy space for two adults with some clever storage solutions. You can drive with or without a roof. It is frugal, especially in traffic when you cruise on zero-emissions and in silence. It is also fast; very fast. This is the i8 Roadster, the latest car in the BMW electric family. On the road, it is an impressive product on so many levels. It is not only fun to drive, it looks exciting. This car I have on test is intelligently designed to feel light and efficient with a touch of futurism. The i8 Roadster does not ask the driver to compromise in the name of sustainability.

The i8 Roadster maintains the perfect coupé profile when the fabric roof is in placeBMW

BMW was one of the first of the traditional car manufactures to face the future of ecological mobility. The Munich firm approached the next chapter of the automobile with a clean sheet of paper questioning what its identity should be when there is no longer a gasoline powertrain and thereafter a pilot. I have had marathon conversations with the creative team – the director of design Adrian van Hooydonk and prior to him Chris Bangle - on this subject. Like most companies, BMW is navigating its future to be relevant to the next generation of drivers.

The roof on the i8 Roadster lowers in just 15 seconds and whilst travelling at up to 31mphBMW

Bangle’s character-changing GINA concept led the way in exploring the car in future scenarios. I still recall the sheer wonder at witnessing this cloth-covered working project in 2008. It represented a whole new world full of possibilities. Then three years later the marque announced the birth of its new e-mobility i sub-brand and reality began to replace fantasy. The two production models in the family, the i3 and i8, represent the extreme poles of BMW – the former is an all-electric urban run-around designed for dense megacities, while the latter is a part-electric high-performance car. What bonds them is the shared eco aesthetic, made possible largely due to their advanced LifeDrive modular architecture.

The i8 Roadster is strictly a two-seater due to the roof mechanism but offers plenty of clever storage solutionsBMW

Which brings us to the present day. The i8 is in its mid-life facelift period and to mark the occasion the model has undergone some styling tweaks. Those are subtle, mainly refreshing touches such as u-shaped head and taillights and new front air intakes. New paint options are available as are optional wheel designs. More importantly, BMW has taken the roof off the i8 Coupé to offer this convertible i8 Roadster option.

The i8 Roadster in production at the advanced Zaha Hadid designed Leipzig factory in GermanyBMW

There are quite a few of the original i8 Coupés roaming around this part of London and they never fail to impress. They appear continuously fresh, exploratory, a touch avant-garde in the way conceptual studies can be and production cars seldom are. This i8 Roadster expands on this progressive narrative. The subtle wing doors are frameless, the folding roof keeps the streamline silhouette of the Coupé, lowering electronically in only 15 seconds. Opening the fabric roof raises the rear window automatically by around 30mm, reducing air turbulence inside the cabin. The mechanism is clever too, as the roof folds vertically into three-segments in the rear, taking up minimal space and leaving an additional 100-liters of storage capacity between the roof box and the seats, with an extra 88-liters at the back.

BMW i8 Roadster has new u-shaped front and rear light designsBMW

The folding roof occupies rear passenger space, so unlike the i8 Coupé which can sit four, the Roadster is strictly a two-seater. This i8 offers the typical combination of premium automotive materials of fine leather and accents of brushed aluminum. I can’t help thinking it is a missed opportunity though not to explore alternative expressions of luxury here – fabrics that speak the language of sustainability. Then, most probably the design team are leaving the more daring ideas for the second-generation of i cars.

The design is advanced, intelligently conceived yet with a touch of futurismBMW

This car is a breeze to drive though. Performance vehicles can be quite challenging for everyday use, but the i8’s relatively small width, when compared to your average supercar, makes it easy to manoeuver through city traffic. Power comes from a turbocharged three-cylinder engine – a small mid-mounted 231bhp petrol engine that drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox, with an enhanced 143bhp electric motor powering the front wheels. In high speeds the V8 is mighty powerful, and the heightened engine note adds to the thrill of the drive.

Zero to 62 mph can be achieved in just 4.6 seconds, the i8 will speed up to 155 mph and in residential areas you can opt for pure electric drive for a smooth and silent emission-free ride. Some 33 miles are available from the battery, which is then fully chargeable in as little as 4.5 hours and CO2 emissions are up to respectable 46g/km.

The i8 Roadster is available to order now, prices starting from around $160,000BMW

BMW says this i8 Roadster was always in the pipeline – the company just wanted to test the market first with the safer coupé fixed-roof model, which proved popular. The i project on the whole has been a success for the marque, probably not so much financially, yet cars like the i3 and i8 are vital in showing BMW's willingness to embrace, perhaps even lead, the sustainable future. The i8 Roadster is available to order now, prices starting from around $160,000 which, given the competition out there, feels quite reasonable. BMW is promising 25 electric-powered cars within the family by 2025 and if this car and the brilliant i3 are anything to go by, I for one will be hugely excited to experience the company in the next-chapter of mobility.

Read about BMW's on-going involvements in the arts here

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The new i8 Roadster is a soft-top convertible hybrid-electric performance carBMW

Inside offers a cozy space for two adults with some clever storage solutions. You can drive with or without a roof. It is frugal, especially in traffic when you cruise on zero-emissions and in silence. It is also fast; very fast. This is the i8 Roadster, the latest car in the BMW electric family. On the road, it is an impressive product on so many levels. It is not only fun to drive, it looks exciting. This car I have on test is intelligently designed to feel light and efficient with a touch of futurism. The i8 Roadster does not ask the driver to compromise in the name of sustainability.

The i8 Roadster maintains the perfect coupé profile when the fabric roof is in placeBMW

BMW was one of the first of the traditional car manufactures to face the future of ecological mobility. The Munich firm approached the next chapter of the automobile with a clean sheet of paper questioning what its identity should be when there is no longer a gasoline powertrain and thereafter a pilot. I have had marathon conversations with the creative team – the director of design Adrian van Hooydonk and prior to him Chris Bangle - on this subject. Like most companies, BMW is navigating its future to be relevant to the next generation of drivers.

The roof on the i8 Roadster lowers in just 15 seconds and whilst travelling at up to 31mphBMW

Bangle’s character-changing GINA concept led the way in exploring the car in future scenarios. I still recall the sheer wonder at witnessing this cloth-covered working project in 2008. It represented a whole new world full of possibilities. Then three years later the marque announced the birth of its new e-mobility i sub-brand and reality began to replace fantasy. The two production models in the family, the i3 and i8, represent the extreme poles of BMW – the former is an all-electric urban run-around designed for dense megacities, while the latter is a part-electric high-performance car. What bonds them is the shared eco aesthetic, made possible largely due to their advanced LifeDrive modular architecture.

The i8 Roadster is strictly a two-seater due to the roof mechanism but offers plenty of clever storage solutionsBMW

Which brings us to the present day. The i8 is in its mid-life facelift period and to mark the occasion the model has undergone some styling tweaks. Those are subtle, mainly refreshing touches such as u-shaped head and taillights and new front air intakes. New paint options are available as are optional wheel designs. More importantly, BMW has taken the roof off the i8 Coupé to offer this convertible i8 Roadster option.

The i8 Roadster in production at the advanced Zaha Hadid designed Leipzig factory in GermanyBMW

There are quite a few of the original i8 Coupés roaming around this part of London and they never fail to impress. They appear continuously fresh, exploratory, a touch avant-garde in the way conceptual studies can be and production cars seldom are. This i8 Roadster expands on this progressive narrative. The subtle wing doors are frameless, the folding roof keeps the streamline silhouette of the Coupé, lowering electronically in only 15 seconds. Opening the fabric roof raises the rear window automatically by around 30mm, reducing air turbulence inside the cabin. The mechanism is clever too, as the roof folds vertically into three-segments in the rear, taking up minimal space and leaving an additional 100-liters of storage capacity between the roof box and the seats, with an extra 88-liters at the back.

BMW i8 Roadster has new u-shaped front and rear light designsBMW

The folding roof occupies rear passenger space, so unlike the i8 Coupé which can sit four, the Roadster is strictly a two-seater. This i8 offers the typical combination of premium automotive materials of fine leather and accents of brushed aluminum. I can’t help thinking it is a missed opportunity though not to explore alternative expressions of luxury here – fabrics that speak the language of sustainability. Then, most probably the design team are leaving the more daring ideas for the second-generation of i cars.

The design is advanced, intelligently conceived yet with a touch of futurismBMW

This car is a breeze to drive though. Performance vehicles can be quite challenging for everyday use, but the i8’s relatively small width, when compared to your average supercar, makes it easy to manoeuver through city traffic. Power comes from a turbocharged three-cylinder engine – a small mid-mounted 231bhp petrol engine that drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox, with an enhanced 143bhp electric motor powering the front wheels. In high speeds the V8 is mighty powerful, and the heightened engine note adds to the thrill of the drive.

Zero to 62 mph can be achieved in just 4.6 seconds, the i8 will speed up to 155 mph and in residential areas you can opt for pure electric drive for a smooth and silent emission-free ride. Some 33 miles are available from the battery, which is then fully chargeable in as little as 4.5 hours and CO2 emissions are up to respectable 46g/km.

The i8 Roadster is available to order now, prices starting from around $160,000BMW

BMW says this i8 Roadster was always in the pipeline – the company just wanted to test the market first with the safer coupé fixed-roof model, which proved popular. The i project on the whole has been a success for the marque, probably not so much financially, yet cars like the i3 and i8 are vital in showing BMW's willingness to embrace, perhaps even lead, the sustainable future. The i8 Roadster is available to order now, prices starting from around $160,000 which, given the competition out there, feels quite reasonable. BMW is promising 25 electric-powered cars within the family by 2025 and if this car and the brilliant i3 are anything to go by, I for one will be hugely excited to experience the company in the next-chapter of mobility.

Read about BMW's on-going involvements in the arts here

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/nargessbanks/2018/08/20/bmw-i8-roadster/

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