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Words by Shubham Choukse
BMW has finally revealed the much anticipated i8 Roadster at the LA auto show. The Roadster is based on the facelift Coupe, which also made its debut with the soft top convertible.
The i8 roadster carries the BMW i-design theme remarkably well; the frameless butterfly doors, the beautifully sculpted carbon-fibre reinforced-plastic (CRPF) body, and the open-top layout give it an irresistible charm. The roadster has a fabric roof, opening or closing of which takes just 15 seconds and it can be operated at speeds of up to 50kmph. Based on the same aluminium chassis and carrying the same CRPF tub as the coupe, the roadster weighs 1595 kg which is just 60kg more than the coupe. Where the coupe has a 2+2 seating configuration, the roadster is strictly a 2-seater.
Powering the roadster and the facelift coupe is a new 9.4kWh (net) battery pack which works in conjunction with the same 228bhp, 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder, turbo-petrol motor as seen on the previous model. New electric power-pack means more juice for the electric motor, which ups the available electric power output to 141bhp (11bhp increment over the previous model) and the all-electric range has also increased from 37km to 55km for the coupe while the same for the roadster is 53km. Also the performance has improved, the car can now reach up to speeds of 120kmph in pure-electric mode while with the petrol and electric combined output 0-100kmph takes just 4.4 seconds in the coupe and 4.6 seconds in the roadster. The top speed is electronically limited to 250kmph. The CO2 emissions have also gone down from 50gm/km to 42gm/km in the coupe, while the roadster emits 46gm/km.
The prices for the facelift coupe start at Rs 97.88 lakh and for the roadster start at Rs 1.08 crore in the UK (exclusive of taxes and import duty).