The BMW i8 has performed the role of sports car of the future with extraordinary success since the day it was launched. The progressively designed 2+2-seater doubles up as an eye-catching object of desire and a technological pioneer. Indeed, the i8 has been the world’s highest-selling hybrid sports car since it first hit the roads in 2014 and has collected an array of awards in recognition of its visionary design and trailblazing vehicle concept. The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid drive system has won the International Engine of the Year Award three years in succession (2015 – 2017) and paved the way for the constantly expanding number of plug-in hybrid models from the BMW and MINI brands. Now the allure of sustainable driving pleasure is poised to enter another new dimension. The new BMW i8 Roadster takes the i8’s combination of locally emission-free mobility and high-calibre performance and sprinkles the drop-top driving experience into the mix. The Roadster exudes a whole new sensation of freedom, opening the door to virtually silent motoring with zero CO2 emissions and bringing an extra edge of purity to open-air motoring.
Following the world premiere of the BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017, local sales commenced at the end of May 2018. The Roadster will be joined in showrooms by the new version of the BMW i8 Coupe. Both models are based on the LifeDrive vehicle architecture designed for BMW i cars. The aluminium Drive module brings together the powertrain, high-voltage battery, suspension, crash system and structural functions, while the Life module takes the form of a passenger cell hewn from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
And so the BMW i8 Roadster also benefits from a low-weight construction, complete with low centre of gravity and even weight distribution. The aerodynamically optimised exterior – with model-specific gullwing doors and a soft-top roof that also displays great visual lightness – is a fine exponent of the signature BMW i design language. The result is a two-seater boasting a distinctive and elegantly stretched silhouette, and delivering an immediate promise of instantaneous power ready to be unleashed.