The drop-top version of BMW’s radical i8 has debuted in India at the 2018 Auto Expo. The i8 Roadster will join the i8 Coupe as a halo model in BMW’s India range when it launches later this year.
The BMW i8 coupé blew everyone’s minds when it was launched back in 2015 – not so much because of its outright performance but for its futuristic take on the mainstream sportscar. It looked radical, inside and out; and the way it incorporated hybrid tech so seamlessly into the driving experience made it rather unique.
The roadster version has been a long time coming; but it has been launched in India very soon after its global unveil. There is a weight penalty for the folding roof – but it’s just 60kg and the fabric roof itself slips away or back again in just 15 seconds. And finally, the barely-usable rear seats from the coupé have been swapped for a bit of luggage space – a far more practical use of the space.
You still get a mid-mounted, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol motor which is good for 231hp, as well as an electric motor at the front; but the i8 (coupé and Roadster, alike) has now been given 12hp more electric power and a greater electric driving range, thanks to better batteries. The new total output is 374hp.
The i8 Roadster is a rival to the convertible versions of the Jaguar F-type, Porsche 911 Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GT, though the BMW is less powerful than its rivals. As with the coupé, though, the i8 is more about making a statement (and looking seriously cool while doing so) than having the fastest, quickest or loudest car on the block.
Auto Expo 2018 car and SUV image gallery
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