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No one stays indifferent when the spectacular frameless scissor doors are opened.

No one stays indifferent when the spectacular frameless scissor doors are opened.

BMW i8 Roadster — The Sports Car of the Future, Now as a Convertible

When the i8 was shown as a concept it was roofless, but when production started it had one. Now, four years after the launch, a new roadster version will be made available.

The front is low on the i8 Roadster, so the air level will be as low as possible.

The front is low on the i8 Roadster, so the air level will be as low as possible.

The car is filled with aerodynamic design elements, some taken from the M1 Hommage Concept.

The car is filled with aerodynamic design elements, some taken from the M1 Hommage Concept.

When the i8 was shown as a concept it was roofless, but in 2018 it came with the facelift.

When the i8 was shown as a concept it was roofless, but in 2018 it came with the facelift.

The electrified division of BMW has the addition of the letter “i”: BMWi. The first two models, and so far the only ones on the market, are the i3 and i8. The former a practical compact city car, available either as a hybrid or fully electric. i8, being a sports car, is on the other hand only available as a hybrid. In 2009, the i8 concept was shown at the Frankfurt's car saloon, but already a year earlier, a BMW M1 study, with the name “Hommage Concept”, was shown. This laid the foundation to which later became the new i8 concept.

“The aerodynamic design of the car makes you almost lose yourself when you look at it”

The first production car rolled out of the factory in 2014. With the exception that it had a roof. There were minimal changes to the concept. The appearance of the i8 really stands out from everything else, there are so many aerodynamic shapes on the car that you can lose yourself when you look at it. No one will stay indifferent if you roll by in an i8, even less when you park it and open the frameless scissor-doors. Even on a roadster is a true
delight to the eye.

Design wise you will definitely not be disappointed: i8 is based on an F1-like construction, with a carbon fiber and plastic monocoque. The i8 roadster powertrain - a 143-horsepower electric motor combined with a 1.5 liter three-cylinder petrol engine, with 275 horsepower. Combined, the electricity and gasoline engine generates 374 horsepower.

Apart from the facelift, adding a roadster version, capacity to the the lithium-ion battery was added, 70 percent to be exact, which gives 12 horsepowers more than before. The range for electric drive is now 53 kilometers, which is 16 kilometers more than before, when you had 37 kilometers in pure electric drive. The sprints from stationary to one hundred are completed in 4.6 seconds thanks to both engines working simultaneously.

The great thing about i8 Roadster performance must still be the consumption. Despite a relatively active driving without having to think too much about keeping down petrol consumption, you still land at just over two liters/10 km, which is crazy for such a fun sports car.

The BMW i8 Roadster can run in different programs; you can either run it completely on the electric “EV mode”, but only for 53 kilometers as previously mentioned, and at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour. Then the car has a Comfort and EcoPro mode. There is also a Sports mode available, if you slide the gear selector to the left. This changes the character of the car significantly and the meter charts change color from white to red. The engine noise also wakes up to life with a lovely growl.

And it sounds great! All engine sounds are digitally-amplified that comes from the car's speakers. From the outside, the car doesn’t make much noise, even though you hear the petrol engine. The great thing about cars like the i8 Roadster is that you easily can switch to fully electric drive and glide through town completely silent.
When it comes to active driving with the i8 Roadster, it’s really fun, the progressive steering is speed adapted and at lower speeds is easily controlled, while in higher speeds it becomes heavier and small steering wheel movements are barely noticeable.

Although the car is almost two meters wide, it handles incredibly nimble in tight corners, and completely undramatic in high speeds. BMW has succeeded with something really unique, with the i8 Roadster and the fact that they have chosen to launch a car like this now is exactly what was needed to turn up the temperature in the EV space. Since the technology exists, we would like to see more cars like this and if only the price was a bit easier to digest, more people would have chosen to drive an i8 Roadster!

 

BMW i8 Roadster
Basic price: SEK 1,631,500.
Engine: Three-cylinder 1.5-liter petrol engine with turbo, 231 hp, torque 320 Nm + an electric motor forward of 143 hp. Total power 374 hp.
Power transmission: Rear engine, 6-speed automatic, rear wheel drive. The electric 
motor drives the front wheels.
Acceleration: 0-100 in 4.6 sec. Top speed: 250 km/h.
Petrol consumption while mixed driving, according to the manufacturer: 0.21 l/mil.
Weight: 1,670 kg.
Warranties: New car 2 years, cart damage 3 years, battery 8 years.
If you have a little imagination and look deep, you can see a Porsche Carrera coming out of the i8's rear part. Probably not a conscious design detail, but very fun.

If you have a little imagination and look deep, you can see a Porsche Carrera coming out of the i8's rear part. Probably not a conscious design detail, but very fun.

ARTICLE CREATORS
Photographer, Writer
Automotive
I started my photo career when skateboarding. My friend and I liked to take pictures of each other doing tricks. Before I knew it, I was working with Swedish skateboard magazines. After a couple of years in art and photography schools, I established my company, James Holm Fotograf.
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