Is BMW's new i8 roadster the coolest hybrid yet?

2019 BMW i8 Roadster

The refreshed i8 and new i8 Roadster should be hitting Canadian dealerships around spring 2018.

The world's highest selling plug-in hybrid sports auto has had a haircut, subbing the standard roof for a soft-top design. That almost doubles the amount of storage available in the Roadster versus the i8 Coupe. BMW has been teasing this model for quite some time, but we finally get the chance to see it uncovered. Styling-wise, it looks very similar to the coupé but features many individual highlights, beginning with the electrically operated soft-top roof which fully retracts into the rear end for a targa look.

Thanks to a more powerful electric motor, which is still mated to a 170kW version of BMW's 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine, the BMW i8 now boasts a total system output of 275kW, up from 266kW. While the Coupe is a tenth faster to 62mph than the old one, at 4.4 seconds, the Roadster drops two tenths on that as it labours just that little bit harder to get its mass moving off the line. Both cars are electronically limited to 155 miles per hour. BMW has also been able to retain the Coupe's distinctive dihedral doors for the Roadster, designing new frameless units made from carbonfibre and overlaid with an aluminium skin.

Buy or sell your exotic vehicle at duPontREGISTRY.com and check back with Autofluence.com for more supercar news. BMW claims the new battery provides an all-electric range of 33 miles (53 km) for the i8 Roadster and 34 miles (55 km) for the i8 Coupe in FWD electric mode up to a limited speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) on the European test cycle. The rear window is also a wind deflector and has been modified to close or open independently of the roof. The dashboard design is shared between the coupe and convertible and features the latest version of BMW's iDrive system that now comes with touch control on the free-standing 8.8-inch monitor.

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Speaking of the battery, its capacity rises from 7.1 to 11.6kWh.

In electric-only mode both models can reach speeds of up to 65mph - 75mph when the eDrive boost mode is engaged - and to help on the eco front the engine is now fitted with a particulate filter to cut emissions.

All up, BMW says the Roadster is 60kg heavier than the Coupe.

The two-seat drop-top has been shown alongside a facelift for the i8 Coupe; both models share almost everything from the 374hp hybrid powertrain and new design to the interiors and features.

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