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BMW i8 refreshed for 2018 at Detroit motor show

Published: 15 January 2018

► New updated BMW i8 at Detroit
► Cleaner tech, more brawn too
► Head-up display, new iDrive

The BMW i8 Coupe is being refreshed to match the new i8 Roadster, and you can see both at this week’s Detroit motor show. It’s a modest upgrade to the futuristic plug-in hybrid sports car, designed to keep it fresh as it nears its fourth birthday.

The open-top i8 convertible was first shown at the 2017 LA auto show and will be launched with a limited 200-strong production run of First Editions, but its tin-top sibling is now getting its turn under the spotlights. 

Our full 2018 Detroit motor show NAIAS guide

What’s new on the 2018 BMW i8 Coupe?

There are modest updates to the hybrid petrol-electric powertrain. The three-cylinder engine and e-drive system conspire to produce 275kW, equivalent to 369bhp total output. 

New 2018 BMW i8 Coupe: prices from £124k  in the UK

The battery onboard has a higher capacity of 34Ah, or 11.6kWh and the electric motor is now rated at 141bhp. Silent EV drive is now possible up to 75mph, according to BMW. Net result?

  • 0-62mph 4.4sec (Coupe), 4.6sec (Roadster)
  • Top speed 155mph limited
  • Fuel economy 149mpg on the combined cycle (Coupe), 135mpg (Roadster)
  • CO2 emissions 42g/km (Coupe), 46g/km (Roadster)
  • EV range 34 miles (Coupe), 33 miles (Roadster)

Anything else new for 2018?

Two new paint choices are offered - E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic - with matching new appointments available inside, including optional carbon trim and ceramic surfaces. The latest iDrive system upgrades the infotainment system which now has the latest BMW tip-style touchscreen and a head-up display is optional (see below).

New 2018 BMW Coupe interior and iDrive touchscreen

Also worth noting is the new Air Shutter, which is an active aero feature on the bonnet of the car, opening and closing depending on the balance of cooling requirements versus aerodynamic needs.

We expect the new 2018 BMW i8 Coupe to cost £112,730 in the UK, while the i8 Roadster has been priced at £124,730.

We lived with a BMW i8 Coupe for a year: read our long-term test review here

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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