BMW’s updated eDrive technology powers both the i8 Roadster and Coupe. The car can now operate in electric-only mode in many more situations. While charge remains, the car’s 3-cylinder gasoline engine only fires up under hard acceleration and switches off more frequently. Underpinning its improved emission-free range is an updated version of the i8’s lithium-ion battery. The high-voltage unit is located centrally under the car, and its cell capacity is increased from 20 to 34Ah. All of this means that the motor has more energy at its disposal. Plus, the cell configuration ups peak output by 12 hp to 143 hp. The improved technology means the i8 Roadster can cover up to 53 kms (33 miles) with zero emissions, while the i8 Coupé can achieve up to 55 kms (34 miles).
A hybrid synchronous electric motor and a three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology power the new BMW i8 Coupé and new BMW i8 Roadster. The engine feeds power to the rear wheels through a six-speed Steptronic transmission, while the electric motor powers the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The end result is a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system.
The i8 Coupe has become the best-selling hybrid sports car since its introduction in 2014. The i8 Roadster goes on sale in January 2018. Canadian pricing will be announced closer to market launch in Spring 2018. MSRP in Canada for the 2017 i8 Coupe is $149,900. November is the final month of production for the 2017 model. There will not be a 2018 model year i8.