BMW i8 Roadster revealed as its most gorgeous hybrid yet

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, Updated i8 Coupe Debut in LA

That means total system power is now 275 kW/374 hp, allowing the i8 Roadster to cover the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds (0.2 seconds slower than the coupé).

The Roadster's trick is a new roof structure which stows automatically under a panel between the buttresses, all in around 15 seconds at up to 30mph.

As before, the electric motor is mated to a 1.5-litre petrol engine which drives the rear wheels making the i8 all-wheel-drive with a six-speed steptronic automatic transmission.

From an aesthetic point of view, it retains numerous familiar features of the i8 Coupe, which also takes advantage of the California motor show to undergo a bit of a refresh itself.

The i8 loses the coupe's roof, obviously, but keeps the neat "gullwing" doors; an all-weather fabric roof keeps occupants protected from the elements, and can be raised or lowered in less than 16 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

The long talked about roadster features an electric folding soft-top that's stored in a space-saving vertical position.

Speaking of which, the all-new BMW i8 Roadster is only about 60 kg (130 pounds) heavier than the Coupe, despite having a reinforced CFRP chassis and an electrically retractable soft top.

In terms of style, the Roadster ditches the rear side windows. The automaker claims the number of driving situations where the electric motor is exclusively responsible for powering the vehicle has been significantly increased, with the combustion engine only being brought into play when accelerating hard.

The engine remains the same award-winning three-cylinder, turbocharged 1.5-liter, producing 228 horsepower (170 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque.

Sales of the BMW i8 Roadster are set to commence in spring 2018 with pricing announcements closer to the market launch.

However, both have an improved electric range - the Coupe can travel 55km on electric power only, while the Roadster can do 53km. Top speed remains limited at 155 miles per hour in true German fashion. The electric motor is good for 105kW and pure EV range is quoted at 28km. Otherwise, the car's design will be familiar to current owners of the coupe - much of the changes to the Roadster are to its complex aluminium construction, to compensate for the loss of a rigid roof.

The i8 Coupe, which was also showcased at the 2017 LA Auto Show, also gets a facelift for 2018 along with an increase in power. Inside there's also a Tera World Copper with E-Copper trim.

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