2019 BMW i8 Roadster Review

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.

Exterior Styling
Interior Styling
Performance
Features
Safety

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.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster Price and Window Sticker

 

 

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

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