In a press conference held earlier today in Munich, Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, confirmed the addition of a new i model in 2018. The long-time rumored BMW i8 Roadster has been approved for production and will join the current i8 at the top of the i brand.
“[…]there will be new additions to the i family,” Krüger said. “In the second half of 2016, we will launch another i3 model, with 50 percent more battery capacity. This will be followed by a BMW i8 Roadster in 2018.”
The open-top i8 will be built under the codename I15 and it’s rumored to embody the future of cutting-edge and emotionally appealing mobility concepts. Just like the “regular” i8, the two-seater roadster blends lightness, dynamic capability and efficiency with a very special aesthetic allure.
BMW first teased a convertible version of the i8 four years ago and delivered another one, the BMW i Vision Future Interaction, last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The i8’s plug-in hybrid powertrain will likely carryover, while getting an updated battery pack and a potential increase in power. Details are still kept under wraps, but sources say the new i8 is likely to get a more powerful electric motor than the 129 hp unit used by the existing i8. In combination with the 1.5 liter three-cylinder petrol unit, the i8 will get a 10 percent boost in power to around 420 hp.
The current i8 makes 360 horsepower and hits 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).