The BMW i8’s powertrain is very similar for the droptop, which means it combines the efforts of a 228bhp 1.5-litre three-pot turbo petrol engine with electric motors.
However, these motors have been upgraded to account for the extra weight, receiving the equivalent of a 12bhp upgrade to produce 141bhp. Even after this, the convertible BMW i8 suffers a slight pace penalty with the 4.4-second 0-62mph sprint of the coupe stretched to 4.6 seconds here. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph as before.
Regardless, Autocar’s Greg Kable remained impressed, writing ‘don’t let anyone tell you the i8 roadster is lacking speed’.
For £124,735, you could easily buy a quicker car, he admitted. However, none of them would combine electric and petrol power to achieve such ‘brutish four-wheel drive accelerative qualities off the line and great long distance touring traits on the open road’.
The Autocar tester also liked the i8 droptop’s ‘excellent flexibility across a broad range’ and ‘stirring engine note’. Writing for the Sunday Times’ Driving section, Mat Watson agreed that the topless i8’s rivals (Porsche 911, Audi R8) were faster, but perhaps didn’t boast such involved handling.
He liked how it felt every bit as sharp as the standard i8, ‘devouring twisty roads with a hunger that belies its large size and blasts away any negative preconceptions of hybrid power’.
Mat added that the roadster cruises relatively comfortably without too much buffeting, while the fabric roof minimises wind noise at motorway speeds.
If you were fond of the i8’s styling before, then there’s no reason why that should change with the roof packed away.
According to Autocar, losing the lid only enhances the visually powerful i8’s futuristic lines, especially so around the back, where you’ll find two large buttresses replacing the coupe’s liftback-style tailgate.
Auto Express agreed, saying the i8 worked ‘remarkably well as a piece of design’ and was even more visually striking than its coupe counterpart from every angle with the roof down. Find out more on the i8 Convertible.
Pretty much every media outlet we found awarded the i8 Convertible four stars. That includes Auto Express, Autocar, Sunday Times: Driving, WhatCar? and Evo. Only Carbuyer broke ranks with its 3.6 rating.
It seems so. Of course, we’ve only skimmed the surface of this remarkable roadster, but the general consensus is that it’s £124k well spent.
But what do you think? Tell us down there in the comments.
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