The i8’s futuristic good looks aren’t merely a superficial consideration – a great deal of thought went into how to make the vehicle as light as possible without sacrificing resilience. For instance, this PHEV’s doors and wings are constructed using polycarbonate glass, which is roughly 200 times stronger than ordinary glass and 30 times more robust than typical acrylics or plastic.
Unlike its Roadster counterpart, this drop-top is strictly a two-seater. There is an upside to this, however: an extra 100 litres of luggage capacity. In virtually every other respect, the interiors are the same, other than the retractable roof, of course. Most importantly, driver and co-passenger are always snugly accommodated.
As tends to be the case with open-top variants, the i8 Roadster doesn’t quite match the Coupé in the performance stakes. A 1.5-litre petrol engine, working in tandem with an electric motor, produces 141bhp and 570Nm of torque. This enables 0-60mph in approximately 4.4 seconds (as opposed to the Coupé’s 4.2 seconds). However, a top speed of 155mph remains the same. There’s no difference in terms of transmission either, because this car also features a six-speed automatic gearbox and steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles. What’s more, the i8 Roadster is every bit as efficient as the Coupé, returning up to 128.4mpg, while producing CO2 emissions as low as 49g/km.
A bona fide supercar really deserves to have a super sound system, which is why the i8 is fitted with a 12-speaker Harman Kardon system. Audio is processed by a DSP (digital) amplifier, producing a 360-watt output that handles classical, easy listening, hard rock and beat-heavy grooves with equal aplomb. Other features include a 20GB hard drive, which features more than enough memory to store a number of favourite albums. There’s also an 8.8-inch touchscreen display that provides access to numerous BMW ConnectedDrive services, including real-time traffic updates, an array of apps and estimated time of arrival information.
Book a test drive
If you would like to test drive the i8 Roadster, a member of the Williams BMW team would be delighted to accompany you. Please get in touch via our website – or phone or visit your nearest Williams showroom any day of the week.