2018 BMW i8 Roadster Priced, Costs $16K More Than the Coupe in the U.S.

The i8 could have been the car BMW needed when it first came out in 2014, but there was the bit about its hybrid powertrain - the puny turbocharged gasoline engine part, to be more exact - that had a lot of people question its worth on the road and track.
2018 BMW i8 & i8 Roadster 1 photo
Photo: BMW
The design, though, was a home run. The Bavarians were struggling a bit in this area, churning out model after model with every new one looking like a carbon copy of the one before it. BMW was turning into Audi, but the neighbors to the North at least had the R8 supercar.

The i8 was never intended as a direct competitor, but rather a showpiece for the new technologies being developed by the company: its newly-found love for electric propulsion and the use of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced polymer) in the vehicle's body and structure.

But BMW managed to wrap all this into one of the sexiest cars to have ever worn the BMW logo, making people wonder two things: why aren't the Bavarians considering a roadster version as well, and why won't they replace the 1.5-liter three-cylinder with a meaty V8 and turn the i8 into a proper beast?

The German manufacturer never addressed the latter because it just wouldn't serve its interests, but late last year it did launch the i8 Roadster, together with a facelift for the coupe. Don't be fooled by appearances: it may look like BMW only needed to remove the top to make the Roadster, but it's never that easy.

Things like structural rigidity need to be taken into consideration, which usually means reinforcing the chassis in other areas. Since the i8 is built using a CFRP tub, that's not as problematic as with more classic designs, proof being the mere 60 kg (130 lbs) the Roadster gained over the coupe.

However, thanks to the tiny performance upgrades bestowed upon both models (12 extra hp overall), the Roadster is capable of matching the performance figures of the coupe. That means the open top version will accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.4 seconds with a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

But if the tiny opening above your head won't bring any performance differences, it will make you dig a bit deeper into your pocket when buying the Roadster. Priced at $163,300 (according to BMWBLOG), the new model isn't just $16,800 more expensive than the coupe, it's also the most expensive BMW model available in the U.S. at the moment.

The standard i8 has also had a price hike compared to the previous generation, but it's a modest one compared to the Roadster extra as we're talking about $4,100. The good news is that you won't have to spend too much on options as the two hybrids come pretty well equipped. However, you're likely looking at a $1,800 premium if you want one in the coppery orange hue of the presentation car.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories