At long last - BMW i8 Roadster details released

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The wait is finally over for the latest version of BMW's hybrid sports auto.

Under the ever-present sunny skies of Los Angeles, BMW unveiled a more scintillating variant of one of its sexiest cars: the 2019 i8 Roadster.

The refreshed i8 and new i8 Roadster should be hitting Canadian dealerships around spring 2018.

Improved efficiency measures give the BMW i8 an expected MPGe of 70 and BMW believes that the Roadster will retain that same fuel efficiency.

The new BMW i8 Roadster and titivated i8 Coupe will go on sale in the United Kingdom early in 2018. In the US, i8 sales are down 72 percent through the first 10 months of 2017, with just 364 sold.

Thanks to a more powerful electric motor, which is still mated to a 170kW version of BMW's 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine, the BMW i8 now boasts a total system output of 275kW, up from 266kW. The lithium-ion battery cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah. The automaker claims the number of driving situations where the electric motor is exclusively responsible for powering the auto has been significantly increased, with the combustion engine only being brought into play when accelerating hard.

The hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive set-up sees the petrol engine driving the rear wheels while the electric motor does its business upfront.

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BMW says that they have made improvements to their carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic technology that found its way into the new models. The 2019 i8 can travel 18 miles, up from 15 miles with the old battery.

Inside, the cabin gets an updated steering wheel, a multifunction instrument display and an 8.8-inch freestanding touch screen.

BMW pegs preliminary 0-60 miles per hour times at 4.4 seconds for the i8 Roadster and 4.2 seconds for the i8 Coupe. Power to the rear wheels continues to be transmitted through a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the electric motor on the front axle uses a 2-speed gearbox.

These powertrain improvements yield a 0-62mph time of 4.4 secs in the Coupe, with the slightly heavier Roadster taking a further 0.2 secs. That's where the 12 hp increase comes from, accompanied by 184 lb-ft of instantly available electric torque.

A boost of power to 369 horsepower means zero-to-100 km/h times now dwell in 4.6-second area for the Roadster, and around 4.4 for the coupe.

There are two new colors for the 2019 i8: E-Copper and Donington Grey.