2019 BMW i8 Roadster First Drive: Top Down To The Future
A facelift for the BMW i8 at first seems about as necessary as a 15-year-old getting Botox. The Bavarian UFO may have been on the market for four years, but it still looks like it just landed on our planet from a very distant, very sophisticated galaxy. Battery technology, however, is developing rapidly, and BMW is kind enough to share its new energy-storage knowledge with i8 customers. That means slightly more power and noticeably more electric range. The big news, however, is this: BMW has cut the roof off the hybrid sports car. The result is the new i8 Roadster, which adds an extra dose science fiction to the i8 package.
Is it the better, more contemporary alternative to the likes of the Audi R8 Spyder, Porsche 911 Cabriolet, and other topless supercars? Wait, not so fast. We do not want to make the same mistake twice. When the i8 coupe hit the market, its handling wasn’t dynamic enough for many, not a real super athlete. But then again, maybe it shouldn’t be: BMW has positioned this car in a completely different way. Not as an uncompromising racetrack weapon, but as a sporting statement for enthusiastic (and very rich) eco-thinkers. Of course, with a BMW i8 you could always be very dedicated and have a lot of fun, but if you thought of it as a genuine supercar, an unconditional cornering monster, you would be disappointed – even though the i8 damned well looked like one.