Test Vehicle: 2019 BMW i8 Roadster
MSRP: $163,300, Price as Tested: $166,795
Overall NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
MPG: 69 electricity + gas / 27 gasoline only
Electric only range: 18 miles (plug-in hybrid)
2019 BMW i8 Roadster Review
|Pros & Cons||What’s New|
|It offers a very refined driving experience and exhibits incredible manners doing so.||Now available as a Roadster for 2019. The convertible top goes down in about 15 seconds.|
|Beautiful supercar styling||Total combined power output increased to 369 hp (+12 hp)|
|Near silent driving experience|
|Effortless to drive and use. Easily a daily-driver.|
|Not as quick or as fast as other non-hybrid supercars|
Q. Should I put the BMW i8 Roadster on my car shopping list?
A. The short answer is Yes! If you’re looking at luxury sports cars or supercars then you absolutely should put the i8 Roadster on your shopping list. The exception would be if you know you want to regularly take your car to the racetrack for track days. If that’s your plan then going the hybrid route isn’t going to give you the thrill or satisfaction you’re probably looking for.
BMW isn’t using their typical xDrive all-wheel-drive system instead they’re using a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system with the gasoline combustion engine driving the rear wheels and the electric motor driving the front wheels, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.2 seconds in the coupe and 4.4 seconds in the Roadster. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. When the eDrive button is depressed, the all-electric top speed threshold is 75 mph. Charging is via a plug-in receptacle and also regenerative braking.
The i8 Roadster is powered by a drive duo in the form of a hybrid synchronous electric motor and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology 1,499 cc 3-cylinder gasoline engine (228 hp and 236 lb-ft). The gasoline engine’s power is channeled to the rear wheels through a 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The electric motors output is 141 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
I did not drive it gently at all and still managed to average 30.9 miles per gallon. Had this been a normal gasoline powered sports car that number would be a lot closer to 10 miles per gallon.
I thought this was a cool tidbit of information, “aluminum elements connecting the roof mechanism with the body of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are produced in a new 3D printing process. This manufacturing method for aluminum components breaks new ground in the automotive industry and allows the topologically optimized bracings to be produced in a geometric form, which would not be possible using conventional casting techniques and ensures an optimal balance between component rigidity and weight.”
Here are some of Ross Rapaport’s driving impressions of the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster
|Features & Specs: BMW i8 Roadster|
|Vehicle Type:||Hybrid Sports Car|
|Gas Mileage:||69 electricity + gas / 27 gasoline only|
|Electric Mode Range:||18 miles. Plugin-in hybrid.|
|Drivetrain:||hybrid specific all wheel drive. Gas engine powers rear wheels, electric motor powers front wheels|
|Gas Engine HP/TQ:||228 hp and 236 lb-ft torque|
|Electric Motor HP/TQ:||141 hp and 184 lb-ft torque|
|Gasoline Engine:||Inline 3 cylinder, 1.5 liter turbo|
|Transmission:||6-speed automatic (Gas) + 2-speed automatic (EV)|
|Wheels:||20×7.5 front and 20×8.5 rear|
|Tires:||215/45 R20 front and 245/40 R20 rear|
|0-60 MPH||4.2 Coupe / 4.4 Roadster|
|Top Speed:||155 mph, electronically limited.|
|Warranty:||4 yr/50,000 car & drivetrain
Battery: 8 yr/100,000
The convertible top is made of an all-season fabric soft-top with additional soundproofing. The electrically operated convertible top, opens and closes in about 15 seconds and you’re able to open the top at speeds up to 31 mph. Video of BMW i8 Roadster Top Opening and Closing.
To help with your decision making here’s a copy of the window sticker for our BMW i8 Roadster test car. Click the following link to download a PDF of the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster Price & Window Sticker.