BMW showcased its futuristic sportscar at the February 2018 Indian Auto Expo. It is a convertible version of the i8 coupe and expected to hit the Indian markets by December 2018. The car presents a sharp and aggressive look with highly advanced technical properties. It is a plug-in hybrid sports car where the powertrain consists of both a petrol engine and an electric motor sending power to all four wheels. The estimated price of this premium vehicle should be around INR 2.62 crore (ex-showroom India). The roadster is based on the i8 Spyder Concept released in 2012 and is the third member of the German Car developer’s futuristic "i" family.
The exterior of i8 Roadster is one of the most spectacular and eye-catching ones. BMW unveiled it for the first time at the Los Angeles Motor Show held in 2017. The soft drop-top is electrically operable and opens and closes in fifteen seconds with the press of a button. It remains stowed back in a perpendicular position at a cavity present behind the rear seats. The car comes with an upgraded windscreen with a strengthened frame accommodating this foldable roof. It has a carbon-reinforced core offering more rigidity and weighs just 60 Kg more than its previous coupe sibling. The sportscar has 20-inch alloy wheels along with ‘Roadster’ badging over the C-pillar.
The interiors of i8 Roadster speak volume of the refined aesthetic sense of BMW. The 2+2 seating in the previous coupe model now gets transformed into a strict two-seater. There is an intelligent combination of bright orange leather and carbon-fiber offering it a sporty feel. BMW has given exceptional emphasis to the safety features of the vehicle, and now you can rely on the driving assistance from BMW Connected Drive for steering and lane control assistance, lane departure warning, and traffic jam assistance. There is an 8.8-inch monitor taking care of the infotainment system within the car.
i8 Roadster has the same plug-in hybrid drive system of the previous i8 coupe but has become more powerful and upgraded. The battery got updated to 11.6kWh from 7.1kWh producing 105kW/143bhp. You can now drive it at 105 Kmph on pure battery power and with the press of an eDrive button can increase it up to 120 Kmph. The electric charge can help you cover a distance of 53 kilometers. Additionally the 1.5 Litres three-cylinder petrol engine produces a maximum power of 231 bhp@5800 rpm and peak torque of 320 Nm@3700 rpm. Altogether, the hybrid system produces 369bhp and 570Nm transmitted through a six-speed automatic gearbox.
i8 Roadster is one of the most stylish and technologically advanced sportscars under the BMW label. There are multiple reasons which make owning this car a prized possession.
• The car has aggressive futuristic styling making it the most sought-after automobile for the youth. • The presence of hybrid technology reduces the carbon dioxide emission and makes it a cleaner car in the segment. • The amalgamation of carbon fiber core and aluminum chassis decreases the overall weight and improves the performance. • It has one of the fastest acceleration and can reach 0-100 Kmph in just 4.4 seconds.
There are some drawbacks in i8 Roadster as well. • Though the door in i8 Roadster has futuristic design getting in and out of the car becomes tricky. • The vehicle is priced at INR 2.62 crore which makes it difficult in marketing it.
Finally, we can say that owning an i8 Roadster is definitely a dream come true for car enthusiasts. However, investing INR 2.62 crore becomes a challenging option for most of them.