2018 BMW i8 Facelift to Boast 420 HP, More Range, Roadster Variant

I would’ve liked to begin this story by pointing out that the BMW i8 is the 21st-century iteration of the BMW M1 from 1978. But it simply isn’t. More than anything, the i8 is the most attention-grabbing car the autoevolution team has ever tested.
BMW i8 1 photo
Be it a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin or the outrageous Renault Twizy, nothing has attracted more admiring glances and outright stares than the i8 did. I refrain from calling it a poser-mobile because it simply isn’t. Instead, the i8 is an enjoyable machine with supercar potential and the looks to go with its exotic status. The thing is, the plug-in hybrid sports car from BMW hasn’t aged rather well in an era when Tesla continues to push the envelope every so often.

The technology is advancing as we speak and BMW has caught wind of the trend rather late. Take the i3, for example. For the 2017 model year, the range went north from 81 to 114 miles thanks to a hike in battery capacity from 22 to 33 kWh. As per a report published by Autocar and as common sense dictates in a cutthroat market, the BMW i8 will get better everything for the 2018 model year.

First thing you need to know about the facelifted BMW i8 is that the 1.5-liter force-fed three-cylinder engine will be massaged to produce more ponies than it currently offers. Then there’s the Aisin F21-360 FT EOP six-speed auto, which is due for a software update that will result in quicker shifts. As for the electric motor, things will be turned up a notch or two for a total system output of roughly 420 HP.

At the present moment, the 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery offers 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) or 37 kilometers (23 miles) of all-electric range, depending on whether you choose to believe the United States EPA or the New European Driving Cycle. Based on the improvement brought to the i3’s battery pack, the capacity should go up from 7.1 kWh to at least 14.2 kWh. You work out how that translates in terms of range.

Slated to hit showrooms late in calendar year 2017, the 2018 BMW i8 will be joined by another body style confirmed by BMW chairman Harald Krugen. More specifically, the long-awaited BMW i8 Roadster.


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