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Reviews First Drive: 2019 BMW i8 Roadster

03:10  03 may  2018
03:10  03 may  2018 Source:   driving.ca

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BMW ’s first -ever “green” convertible, the 2019 i 8 Roadster , is ready to roll, meaning — to paraphrase some of the hyperbolic statements from the German automaker’s PR department — “the allure of sustainable driving is poised to enter another new dimension.”

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a car parked in a parking lot© Provided by Driving.ca MALLORCA, Spain – Set aside such earnest words as sustainability, emissions-free and fuel efficiency for just a minute. Let’s reach for our thesauruses for something a little more emotive, such as stunning, gorgeous or sexy.

The reason rationality is being replaced by longing? BMW’s first-ever “green” convertible, the 2019 i8 Roadster, is ready to roll, meaning — to paraphrase some of the hyperbolic statements from the German automaker’s PR department — “the allure of sustainable driving is poised to enter another new dimension.” Cool, huh? How about the new droptop “match(es) BMW eDrive technology with the ‘Ultimate Driving Experience?’” That one’s good, too.

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As I rolled roofless through Majorca’s back country in near silence, the unpleasant scent flooded the little cockpit of the new BMW i 8 Roadster , accompanied by a torrent of memories. 2019 Lamborghini Urus First Drive : The SUV for Supercar Drivers.

Back in the wild and wacky 19th century, some scientists held a notion called recapitulation theory, which claimed embryonic development followed the branches of an organism’s ancient evolutionary tree, from, say, fish to lizard to dog to human.

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bmw i8
bmw i8

Except it really isn’t hyperbole at all. The i8 coupe, which made its debut four years ago, was stunning enough with a sleek and aerodynamic wedge shape that turned heads (and, to which I can personally testify, emptied a Tim Hortons as customers grabbed their double-doubles and flocked for a look-see). The new Roadster is more of the same, with the addition of a quick-folding soft-top sun seekers will covet.

Go beyond the obvious, though, and take in all the technology that can propel the two-seater to highly illegal speeds in jiffy-quick time or sip gasoline with the sort of parsimony that would warm the cockles of Ebenezer Scrooge’s stone-cold heart, with a combined rating of 2.0 L/100 kilometres based on the EU cycle, and a claimed electric-only range of 53 kilometres. Now the total package becomes even more exceptional.

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All models offer five driving modes that include hybrid drive with comfort, sport, or eco pro, and all-electric driving in comfort or eco pro mode. The 2019 BMW i 8 Coupe, Roadster , and Roadster First Edition go on sale this spring.

Select Year 2019 2018 2017. GO. I never bothered to figure out exactly what it was, but I recognized it immediately. As I rolled roofless through Majorca’s back country in near silence, the unpleasant scent flooded the little cockpit of the new BMW i 8 Roadster , accompanied by a torrent of memories.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hybrid Technology would provide the following synopsis regarding the i8’s plug-in powertrain: A combination of hybrid synchronous electric motor and a 228-horsepower, 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine – yes, this is the same sort of engine as a Mini Cooper, but with extra power. Total system output has been increased to 369 horsepower, a bump of 12 over the setup that was powering last year’s i8 Coupe. The engine’s power is channeled to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox.

The end result is a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system that gives the sports car impressive road holding, with a nod also to its lightweight construction and low centre of gravity. A little more information for the tech geeks: The energy capacity of the lithium-ion battery has been increased, with battery cell capacity now at 34 ampere-hours instead of 20, and gross energy capacity now 11.6 kWh, up from 7.1.

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Say hello to the new 2019 BMW i 8 . 2019 BMW i 8 Roadster Front Right Driving . The new 2019 i 8 Roadster drops the top off of BMW ’s plug-in hybrid sports cars with a fully electric soft top that can open in less than 16 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

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All of which is far from mind as we tool around Mallorca top down, inhaling the fresh air and sucking up the sunshine that blesses this popular Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain. Unlike the coupe, which is a 2+2, the i8 Roadster is designed strictly as a two-seater. And the primary negative about the coupe, namely a somewhat awkward entry and exit from the car due to the low roofline and scissor doors, is somewhat lessened in the Roadster – at least when its power-operated, fabric soft-top is stowed. Ingress still requires some ducking and deking though, especially for taller drivers. Plus, the door windows still don’t fully retract, meaning you can’t rest your elbow on the windowsill when cruising. Quel bummer!

Speaking of the roof, it opens and closes in less than 16 seconds, even while the sports car is in motion at up to 50 km/h, stowing away neat and tidy and taking up very little space.

Keeping in mind this $169,900 i8 is a more environmentally friendly kind of supercar, one Prius owners and other like-minded fuel conservationists can fantasize about buying when all their lottery numbers come up.

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BMW » 2019 i 8 Roadster . The new BMW i 8 Roadster takes the i 8 's combination of locally emission-free mobility and high-calibre performance and sprinkles the drop-top driving experience into the mix.

Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joins the speakers at TechCrunch’s first blockchain event. First Drive : 2019 BMW i 8 Roadster . The i 8 ’s unusual drive system is, apart from the futuristic, flying-buttress design, the main attraction of the car.

So, no, it’s not going to blow off a Lamborghini Aventador at a stoplight. But when Sport mode is selected and all 369 horsepower come into play, the Roadster will zip its way from rest to 100 km/h in a suitably speedy 4.6 seconds. The powertrain delivers a surprisingly rorty tone from the engine, a fine complement to the buzz from the electric motor.

How the i8 performs is all determined by the centre console-located eDrive button and the Driving Experience Control switch right next to it. The two allow one to alter the car’s setup, as well as the drive system’s operating strategy. There’s a total of five driving modes to choose from: hybrid drive with Comfort, Sport or Eco Pro settings and all-electric driving in Comfort or Eco Pro mode. If the eDrive button is pressed in either Comfort mode — which strikes a balance between sporty and efficient characteristics — or Eco Pro mode (which allows one to achieve truly miserly fuel economy), power is provided by the electric motor alone up to a speed of 120 km/h. The gas engine only cuts in if the battery’s energy reserves are nearly fully depleted or the driver summons full power via kick-down.

In Sport mode, both the electric motor and gasoline engine fully interact. Accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, Sport also activates maximum energy recuperation on the overrun and under braking.

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There was plenty of power boost and energy recuperation going on while snaking along mountain roads inland from the sea. The Roadster gave a good accounting of itself as a sports car with a solid weight to the steering, quick turn-in and solid stops from the brakes — all put to maximum use in the hairpin turns and while dodging literally thousands of cyclists swarming every road traveled in preparation for something called the Mallorca 312 Cycle Race. Keeping in mind that the steep rake of the windshield, as well as the thick A-pillars, created a pronounced blind spot – especially when working the corners, so avoiding some of the more kamikaze riders meant quick reflexes were often put to the test.

The cozy cabin is standard BMW spec — sports steering wheel, a multi-function instrument display, head-up display and perforated leather upholstery. All the important stuff is logically situated and the car requires no instruction manual or steep learning curve; just push the start button and go. Both i8 body styles can be recharged from a standard domestic socket in less than 4.5 hours. Hooking up to a BMW i Wallbox allows charging to be performed at a rate of up to 3.6 kW and completed in less than three hours.

BMW’s claim that the i8 is the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car is, currently, a pretty safe bet — there really isn’t anything in production by another manufacturer that directly competes with it. That is sure to change as the inevitability of alternative powertrains — hybrids and pure electrics — permeates the sports car field. BMW even acknowledges that, by 2025, between 15 and 25 per cent of its vehicles will be electrified, both as plug-ins and as purely electric.

The i8, then, manages to combine rationality and concern about sustainability with the pure emotion of a high-end sports car – which not only makes it good for a hybrid, but good, period. The car is available at dealerships now.

2019 BMW Z4 roadster patent images leaked .
Here's what the 2019 BMW Z4 will look like, seen through a patent office's eyes.In the images, we see a cleanly designed drop-top that's a logical evolution from last year's concept car into a production version. The enormous air intakes in the front bumper corners have been toned down, but the canted side strakes remain recognizable. Detailing is calmer in the rear end, too; it's likely that these images show a base version with no visual M-Sport or M-Performance enhancements. That would explain why the rear bumper corners' slats are little more than hints, compared to the ones on the car Autoblog drove.

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