2018 BMW i8 Roadster will have revised exterior and interior with mechanical upgrades resulting in power increase

BMW has released a teaser of its upcoming i8 Roadster ahead of of its international launch early next year. It will likely make its debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. It is safe to say that the brand new Roadster will retain the dihedral doors of the hard-top cousin.

There will be cosmetic revisions while the long rumoured mechanical upgrades will also be put in place. As it will target a big band of premium customers, BMW may not shy away from pricing them a notch above their current state. The Roadster will likely opt for the regular i8 plug-in hybrid’s tailgate structure as the dihedral doors will make it much more appealing.

bmw i8 roadster 2It is expected to be heavily inspired by the BMW i Vision Future Interaction concept study displayed at last year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show). The open-top configuration could make it heavier than the coupe as more strengthening materials should be added to compensate for the lost roof.


It will likely be a removable soft-top as well. The powertrain will certainly be upgraded as the petrol-electric hybrid system could see power surge of up to 10 percent from the existing range. It will make the power almost on par with some variants of the M3 as 420 bhp of combined system output is said to be produced.

bmw i8 roadsterThe i8 Roadster and Coupe features an intricate 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine coupled with synchronous electric motor mounted up front. More changes are expected inside the cabin as the latest BMW iDrive infotainment with gesture control could be accompanied by improved layout and highly advanced connectivity features.


The collaboration made with Intel and Mobileye will aid to a certain extent in launching next levels of self-driving systems. The German manufacturer has the iNext lined up for 2021 and it will have Level 3.5 autonomous capabilities.

BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition RearThe teaser clip of the BMW i8 Roadster does not reveal the complete vehicle but it does show the small rear window and retractable fabric roof. Courtesy of the data in the video, it can be said that combined fuel economy rating with the assistance of the electric motor will be 2.1 litre per 100 km or 112 mpg in US while the combined CO2 emission is at 48 g/km. These are slightly inferior figures compared to the existing i8 Coupe which returns 2.0 L/100km and rated CO2 emission of 44 g/km.

The i8 Roadster will have bigger lithium-ion battery pack with capacity of 14kWh to help increase the electric range beyond 24 km than the coupe. The powertrain could be upgraded to generate close to 420 horsepower as well.

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Surendhar M
An ardent motoring and motorsport enthusiast with huge devotion towards writing. As a Mechanical Engineer by education and Assistant Editor of GaadiWaadi, I rant about anything that has appetite for speed. I idolize Ayrton Senna and as the great man once said I thrive to be competitive in whatever environment that I’m being put in and persevere to be the best at what I do with passion and commitment.