2018 BMW i8 Roadster Starts Production, Priced At $163,300

Exactly $15,800, that’s the premium in pricing BMW demands for the i8 Roadster in comparison to the i8 Coupe, making the Roadster the most expensive member of the i family. For reference, the V8 Vantage from Aston Martin retails at $149,995.
2018 BMW i8 Roadster 8 photos
Photo: BMW
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Having made its world premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the i8 Roadster is now in production at the Leipzig plant in Germany. That’s four months since the grand reveal, which is not much at all considering the re-tooling process.

“We are proud to produce another top-notch product at our plant,” declared plant director Hans-Peter Kemser. “An important factor for that is the know-how and long-time experience of our employees in Leipzig with the production of electric vehicles.”

The i8 Roadster and Life Cycle Impulse of the fixed-head model arrived on the scene four years after the launch of the i8, which BMW would like to point out that it holds the title of “world’s highest-selling plug-in hybrid sports car.” But in comparison to the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Toyota Prius, nobody buys the i8 for its handling and eco-friendly credentials, respectively. This is a poser’s delight, alright!

No hating on the i8 from yours truly, but no other car attracts curious glances and envious peeks as much as the BMW i flagship does. And without a roof above your and your passenger’s heads, it’s obvious the posing factor goes through the roof.

In addition to the visual magnetism of the Roadster, performance and on-paper specifications aren’t too bad for a so-called sports car with a three-cylinder turbo engine driving the rear wheels. With the help of an AC synchronous electric motor, combined system output stands at 374 PS (369 horsepower) and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque.

The battery is also larger, boasting a capacity of 11.6 kWh. What this means in a minor improvement in all-electric driving range, with top speed limited to 155 mph (249 km/h) on full song. Just around 60 kilograms (130 pounds) heavier than the Coupe, the i8 Roadster is two tenths slower from zero to 60 miles per hour (4.4 compared to 4.2 seconds).

On that note, what would you do if you were in the market for something special no more expensive than $163,300? Would you get the i8 Roadster or something else?
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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