2019 BMW I8 Plug-in Hybrid Convertible

2019 MODEL

6.6

Overall Rating

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

There's someone new in the house of BMW, the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster. The Roadster has arrived with its stunning exterior design. The futuristic concept design makes it quite ahead of its peers. Being a hybrid sport car, the i8 roadster draws multiple attention wherever it goes. The 2018 BMW i8 Roadster is a fascinating vehicle that you can relate to the Sci-fi movies.

Starting at $163,300, the Roaster packs with a 1.5-liter Intercool Turbo engine that is further coupled with an 11.6 kW-h battery-powered electric motor. The dup generates a combined power of 369 horses.

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Pros

Powerful gasoline-electric hybrid engine

Exclusive head-turner Convertible design

Good soft roof speed

Good fuel economy from a hybrid

Cons

High price tag

Satisfactory electric range

Difficulty getting in and out

What's New?

A new convertible version

Tuned for more power and range


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$163300

bodystyle

2dr Convertible

passenger capacity

2

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

91 cu. in.

horsepower

369 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

420 lb.-ft. @ 0 rpm

transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

13.4-in. four wheel ventilated disc brakes/13-in. four wheel ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.2 in.

length

184.9 in.

width

76.5 in.

height

50.7 in.

curb weight

3671 lbs.

ground clearance

4.5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

39.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

41 cu ft.

payload capacity

617 lbs.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

27/27/TBD mpg

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

4 years/50000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

no


Pictures & Videos


Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine

8.0

Fuel Economy

5.0

Exterior

9.0

6.6

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible base

base

power
369 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
27 combined

$163,300


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2dr Convertible AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6A) Starting at $163,300 MSRP (27 mpg/27/) 369 hp @ 5800 rpm, 1.5 L, I-3, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 2   E-Copper w/Highlight Frozen Grey Metallic
  Sophisto Grey Metallic w/Frozen Grey Accent
  Donington Grey Metallic
  Sophisto Grey Metallic w/BMW i Frozen Blue Accent

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Expert Review


CARHP Editorial March 1, 2019

6.6

Overall Rating


Unlike the four-year old BMW i8 Coupe, the Roaster is a new member of the familiar. Interior wise, the Roadster also gets similar packages that are available with the regular Coupe version. It's quite hard to find rivals of such astonishing car. However, we believe that the Audi R8 Spyder goes neck to neck in terms of design and power. In this BMW i8 Roaster review, we have tried to explore all aspects of this beauty.


7.0/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine

 

5.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

9.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Features

7.0/10

The 2019 BMW i8 base Coupe version offers 2+2 seating arrangement. The German carmaker has provided two optional packages, the Tera World, and the Tera world Copper. Both the packages can be availed at an extra cost of $2,500.

Starting at an MSRP of $163,300, the Standard World trim features a power-operated soft-top that works efficiently with a button press. It works at a speed of 31 mph. You also get 20-inch BMW I light alloy radial-spoke Bicolor wheels.The Tera World package include features such as Black brake calipers, Leather engine cover, Headliner in Anthracite, BMW i Blue seatbelts, Ceramic controls, Tera Exclusive Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery with cloth accents.

The Tera World Cooper package adds luxury features like Black brake calipers, Leather engine cover, Headliner in Anthracite, Ceramic controls, E-Copper Exclusive leather upholstery with cloth accents.

Trim Packages 2019 BMW i8 Roadster Standard World
MSRP $163,300
Features Front Seatback Storage
  Cruise Control
  Front Cupholders
  Leather And Alloy Steering Wheel
  Keyless Ignition
  Climate Control
  Turn Signal In Mirrors
  Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors
  Electrochromic Inside Rearview Mirror
  Front, Side, And Rear-View Camera
  Front And Rear Parking Sensors
  Electric Power Steering
  Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel
  Universal Remote Transmitter (For Garage Door, Security System, Etc.)
  Transmission, Cruise And Audio Controls On Steering Wheel
  Interior Air Filtration
  Extended Cabin Heating/Cooling

We Recommend

There are not many options to choose here. It depends on your own personal choice whether you want a carbon fiber top Coupe or roofless Convertible. Also, you get a choice of optional packages that can be an advantage over your purchase.

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Engine

8.0/10

"The i8's performance is impressive considering its efficient powertrainnot its relatively high price."- thecarconnection

Engine and Transmission

The 2019 i8 comes powered with a plug-in hybrid engine that is an ultimate performance churner. A 1.5-liter turbocharged engine produces 420 horsepower along with 369 pound-feet of torque. The power is transmitted to the rear wheels. The electric motor returns 141 hp and 184 lb-ft while driving the front wheels.

In the pure electric mode, the electric motor powered by an 11.6-kWh battery allows the i8 to travel up to 18 miles. It efficiently fills the torque gap that comes from the small engine.

Models

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

MSRP

$148,495

$177,100

Engine

1.5L i3 Intercooled Turbo Gas/Electric

5.2L V10 Premium Unleaded

Transmission

6 Speed automatic

7 Speed manual

Horsepower

420 hp

532 hp@ 7800rpm

Torque

369 ft-lbs@ 5800rpm

398 ft-lbs@ 6500rpm

Acceleration

The 2019 i8 manages to sprint 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds. The acceleration part is quite impressive under Sport mode where both the gas and electric motor deliver combined power. On the other hand, the R8 spyder does 0-60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. The best performing cars in terms of acceleration include Audi R8.

Models

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

0-60 MPH

4.6 sec

2.9 sec

Quarter mile

12.4 sec

N/A

Engine

1.5L i3 Intercooled Turbo Gas/Electric

5.2L V10 Premium Unleaded

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A

9.8

The electric-only power delivery gets you instant torque but fails to offer quick acceleration. Although, in the eDrive mode, the i8 uses gasoline engine at some intervals whenever the acceleration pedal is pressed completely.

Ride and Handling

The ride and handling is just similar to the normal BMW i8. However, there is a lot of sportiness with the Roadster. Whether in pure electric mode, normal hybrid mode, or sport mode, any movement of the throttle delivers a precise and predictable transmission of power.

Braking

The brake pedal, which also engages the regeneration function of the electric power system, likewise feels surprisingly natural, without the steps or sudden, jerky changes in brake pressure sometimes felt with hybrids.

Model

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

Brake Front (in.)

13.4

14.4

Brake Rear (in.)

13

14

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3501

3505

60-0 MPH (ft.)

N/A

N/A

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Fuel Economy

5.0/10

The best thing about the i8 is its impressive fuel economy. The car is rated to travel 17 miles on all-electric mode and offers a combined fuel economy of 28 mpg. The total driving range turns out to be 330 miles.

Model

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

MPG (city)

N/A

14

MPG (highway)

N/A

25

MPG (combined)

28

18

Range (miles) (city/highway)

330 miles

307/548

Tank Capacity (gal)

11.1

21.9

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Interior

"The i8's steeply raked front roof pillars, wide doorsills and upward-opening doors make getting in and out cumbersome. At least the seating position is textbook sports car. The coupe's rear seat is tiny and too small for adults."- Edmunds

 

Seating and Comfort

Getting inside the i8's carbon fiber reinforced plastics tub doesn't requires much effort. Since the drivers seat is always up front and the pedal box is placed under the steering, things get easier with the roof down.

The cabin's design shares cues from other BMW cars, though decorated with orange seats and stitching, as well as plenty of carbon fiber. Where the i8 coupe has limited back seats, the Roadster instead has a good storage space. Modest as in 3.5 cubic feet. The actual trunk, located back adds 4.7 cubic feet of storage. In other words, you need to pack little.

Model

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

Passenger capacity

2

2

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.7/56.7/43.1

38.5/55.1/40.9

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

32.4/49.6/28.2

-

Infotainment

Over the dash is BMW's familiar 8.8-inch touchscreen iDrive infotainment system. The screen supports pinch-to-zoom on maps, though in normal conditions easier to the console-mounted jog controller to operate the system. Built-in functions include the expected AM/FM/satellite, Bluetooth calling and audio connectivity and navigation. You'll also find menus for monitoring and managing the i8's charging schedule.

Some of the major infotainment features are as follows:

  • Harman/Kardon Premium Brand Speakers
  • 12 Months Of Provided Satellite Radio Service
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • 360 Watts Stereo Output
  • Speed Sensitive Volume Control
  • Satellite Radio Satellite Radio
  • USB Connection
  • 1 Subwoofer
  • 12 Total Speakers
  • Harman/Kardon Premium Brand Stereo System
  • Surround Audio Surround Audio (Discrete)

Cargo Space

The BMW i8 is deprived of the cargo space due to the design styling. There's a very small room for luggage and you won't find much space in the front as well. Since the rear seating is narrow, you can use it as storage.

Model

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

4.7

8.0

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Exterior

9.0/10

"The relative rarity and exotic shape of the 2019 BMW i8 make it a unique sight on roads. It's expensiveand more importantly, it looks expensiveand its proof that ultra-efficient cars aren't automotive Poindexters."- thecarconnection

Design and Styling

The BMW i8 Roadster is as exciting to look at as to drive. Carbon-fiber construction enables some seriously wild shapes, like the channels inset into the rear haunches that guide air around the bodywork as efficiently as possible. The i8 is low and wide, with its 20-inch wheels pushed far to the corners. And if the nose looks dramatic on its own, wait until you see the rear, where those air channels, sculpted taillights and giant buttress make themselves apparent.

Visually, the i8 roadster is even more good looking than the coupe, and that's saying something. By incorporating with the hard-roof model's vestigial rear seats, the ragtop features an even lower roofline that emphasizes its supercar proportions. The roadster is offered with a power-folding fabric top, two silver dcor elements on the B-pillar, and a new air shutter on the front hood, which also carries over to the refreshed coupe. This design was transformed because the previous model let the flow of air toward the cabin; it didn't matter on the coupe but could make things bad in the roadster when the top is uncovered.

Model

BMW i8 Roadster

Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder Convertible

Curb weight (lbs.)

3501

3505

Length(in)

184.9

174.3

Width(in)

76.5

76.4

Height(in)

50.8

48.8

Ground clearance (in)

4.6

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

110.2

104.3

Track width (in) F/R

64.7/67.8

64.5/63

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Safety

The NHTSA has tested the BMW i8 and the overall rating turns out to be five stars while IIHS haven't crash tested the car yet.

Safety Features

The key safety features included with the 2019 BMW i8 are:

  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Brake Drying
  • Emergency Braking Preparation
  • Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Child Seat Anchors
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Stability Control
  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation
  • Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System
  • Front And Rear Ventilated Disc Brakes
  • 2 Front Headrests
  • Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • LED Headlamp
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Traction Control
  • Pre-Collision Safety System

 

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Competition

BMW i8 vs. Audi R8

Both the BMW i8 and Audi R8 are flagship models from the German carmaker. The i8 is a hybrid sportcar while the R8 has gradually made its way to the super car status in short time. The R8 is also designed as a supercar. The i8 attracts us with its design and latest technology while the R8 offers immense power via V10 engine. The fuel economy delivered by the BW i8 is certainly better than the thirsty R8. So, if you are into a well-designed car, you'll like the i8 over the Audi R8.

2019 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid Convertible Final Verdict

The biggest selling point of the BMW i8 roadster is its styling and futuristic design. It's the only plug-in vehicle in the class. Therefore, it's not an easy task to find a similar competitor. The carmaker has beautifully brought up this in a fresh avatar. As far as the appeal is concerned, there's no other car like the BMW i8 Roadster.