• More power for 2019 brings the total to 369 horsepower
  • All-electric range also increases, up 30 percent to 18 miles
  • i8 Coupe has a 0-60 time of about 4.2 seconds, and a controlled top speed of 155 mph

 

BMW’s new flashy and elegant 2019 i8 Coupe offers more refinements and has more power and range than the current generation plug-in hybrid sports car.  The 2-door, 2+2 coupe with its recognizable gullwing doors hits U.S. dealers in the spring, making its global debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It follows the reveal of the new i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

With a wide and rounded face, the i8 has a low and flat hood and sports a long roofline. The lightweight car, which debuted in 2014, is built on BMW’s LifeDrive vehicle architecture for i models. It includes an aluminum chassis and a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic passenger cell.

New for 2019, the i8 adds 12 horsepower. It’s estimated to deliver 18 miles of pure electric range, up 30 percent from the current model. The i8’s lithium-ion battery’s cell capacity also gets an increase from 20 to 34 ampere-hours (Ah), while gross energy capacity grows from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours. The car’s eDrive technology also has added more situations in which the car solely runs on electric power, with the gasoline engine only powered on when accelerating hard.

Also: Check out the latest news from the Detroit Auto Show

Combined output of 369 horsepower

A unique-looking EV, the i8 generates 369 horsepower with a combined electric motor and gasoline engine. Max torque is 184 lb-ft, which enables the 2019 i8 accelerate from zero to 60 in a mere 4.2 seconds. A controlled top speed is set at 155 mph.

The i8 features a BMW specific all-wheel drive system for hybrids: a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine drives the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission and the electric motor powers the front wheels through a 2-speed automatic transmission.

The i8 has five drive modes: hybrid driving in Comfort, Sport or fuel-sipping Eco Pro modes and all-electric driving in Comfort or Eco-Pro modes.

And in its default mode, the i8 is powerful. It’s capable of hitting 65 mph with just its electric motor. When eDrive is selected, the all-electric speed threshold rises to 75 mph.

The i8 also features eco-smart tech. With navigation route activated, the i8‘s energy management system makes sure the electric motor is used “as extensively and as wisely as possible” especially at low speeds to run as much as a pure EV as possible.

A navigation system includes a touch controller on the center console and an 8.8-inch touch screen control display. The i8 includes a number of advanced technology and connectivity features. One is a head-up display, that can give drivers who shift manually in sport mode rpm readings, gear indicator, plus optimum shift indicator.

It also has cruise control with braking, plus BMW’s Driving Assistant Package that includes Surround View. That package also includes frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation, daytime pedestrian protection, park distance control, automatic high beams, speed limit info, cross traffic alert and side and top view cameras.

Inside, the interior comes standard with ivory white upholstery. New for the 2019 model, the i8 is available with a Tera World Copper interior trim that comes with cloth/leather upholstery in Amido/E-Copper colors. With heated front seats, the i8 also features a leather sports steering wheel with paddle shifters.

Twenty-inch wheels are optional. And two new exterior color choices are available: E-Copper and Donnington Grey. Pricing for the 2019 i8 was not immediately available. The 2017 i8 started at about $145,000.

 

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