New BMW i8 Roadster Starts Rolling Off The Line In Leipzig

Late last year, BMW took the wraps off the new i8 Roadster and revealed it to the world for the first time. Now the plug-in hybrid convertible has starting rolling off the assembly line – along with its enhanced coupe counterpart.

The latest versions of the i8 feature an upgraded powertrain. It consists of a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder internal-combustion engine, now producing 231 horsepower and paired with an electric motor good for another 143.

Those figures are up from 228 and 131, respectively. Their combined 374 hp propel the coupe to 60 in 4.2 seconds and the roadster in 4.2. They’ll top out at the same electronically limited 155 mph, traveling for 34 miles (for the coupe, 33 for the convertible) on a single electric charge.

The coupe continues with its 2+2 layout, while the roadster incorporates two seats in front of its folding fabric roof mechanism. They’re both built on the same lightweight architecture, the roadster featuring a pair of frameless, aluminum-skinned carbon-fiber doors. The upgraded coupe and new roadster will begin arriving at dealers this May.

“We are proud to be able to manufacture another top product in our plant,” said plant manager Hans-Peter Kemser. “An important factor here is the long-standing know-how of our Leipzig employees in the production of electric vehicles. ”

Since production began in 2014, the BMW plant in Leipzig has built some 130 examples of the i8 every day. According to the manufacturer, that makes the i8 “the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car,” a rather narrow segment abandoned by rival GM and its Cadillac ELR. Higher-end exotics like the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 were produced by design in much smaller numbers.

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  • Bo Hanan

    I think this would be a better car with the M4/3 twin-turbo engine in it. The electric thing doesn’t seem like a big draw it it only gets you 33/34 miles per charge. And what is this cars competition? It only seems to be in articles by itself or with the M4.

    • Infinite1

      It’s a car designed to be “Eco-friendly” and sporty at the same time but falls short of both in my opinion.

      • Bo Hanan

        I think BMW either had bigger plans and chickened out at the last minute, or they wanted to see if they could do it. Either was this is what we got.

        • Infinite1

          There’s a lot of truth to what you say. Unfortunately, this is the end result

  • Infinite1

    When you want a sporty looking hybrid and don’t want to drive a Prius

  • ezscreen

    Is it true that the design of the rear was intentionally made to appear excreting a 911?

  • TheBelltower

    This car includes some amazing engineering. However it’s another example of how conventional automakers cannot untether themselves from oil. 34 miles of electric range is truly pathetic and completely unacceptable. The geeky sibling, the i3 still only achieves 100 miles of EV range (my 2015 i3 only achieves 70ish) before the range extender kicks on. While BMW’s I-brand provides a bit of green cred, as well as a substantial R&D resource for their gas vehicles, the end products are simply not honest efforts.

  • SteersUright

    Zzzzz…
    Lame.

    • Bo Hanan

      Holla!

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