BMW i8 Roadster is the convertible version of the BMW i8 Coupe that is currently on sale.
BMW had setup its electric ‘i’ division back in 2011 and the first production ready car from the new venture had rolled out in 2013.It was a BMW i3 which was an all electric car.
BMW i later launched the BMW i8 sports car in Europe during 2014 and has been on sale for the past three years with sales already touching 50,000. It is an hard top version and the BMW’s electric ‘i’ division has been working on releasing a convertible version of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. The roofless car will be called as the BMW i8 Roadster and the production of the same is expected to commence by 2018.
BMW i Vision Future Interaction Concept which was showcased by BMW in 2016 was based on the i8 with no roofs or doors. The Concept also carried new interactive technologies which were focussed on interaction, safety and autonomous driving. BMW had also claimed that it is planning to channel these technologies into all its models.
Recently, the BMW i8 Roadster had been spotted testing in the Europe. The full camouflage still does not hide much of the car’s design features.
The spy picture of the car reveal minor changes to the design of the BMW i8 hardtop on which the new i8 Roadster is based. The headlamps carry updated graphics featuring dual strip LED Day time Running Lights (DRLs) unlike the single strip of the current model. The bumpers also carry different design elements which may be seen introduced in the hardtop version soon as a facelift.
The roof sees a major design change. While the hard top version features two struts on either side of A-pillar tapering as a floating structure towards the end of the car, the convertible features a single floating panel which starts from the rear, goes along the top horizontally to connect with the panel on the other side.
While the BMW i8 hardtop features butterfly doors, the images doing rounds does not confirm the type of door used. But the position of the mounting and the cut off points on the A-pillar do give a hint that the same mechanism may be employed. But, BMW may employ conventional opening doors to reduce weight.
Powertrain wise, BMW will continue with the 3 cylinder 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine which will be tuned for more power. The batteries may also be updated to increase the range of the hybrid. The changes will also be added to the hardtop version during its facelift.