BMW gives boost to its elec­tric of­fer­ings

LAUNCH NEWS/ BMW has launched its i8 Road­ster and up­dated i8 coupe as well as the up­graded i3, writes Lerato Matebese

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

Since BMW’s launch of its elec­tri­fied sub­brand in SA back in 2015, the Bavar­ian mar­que has since ex­panded its green of­fer­ings to spill into what is known as iPer­for­mance mod­els, es­sen­tially hy­brid mod­els of ex­ist­ing series cars in­clud­ing the 330e, 530e, 740e and the X5 xDrive40e.

Now the pi­o­neers of the sub­brand, the i3 and i8 coupe have re­ceived up­dates with the for­mer now fea­tur­ing a denser bat­tery pack that takes the es­ti­mated driv­ing range from 160km to 200km for the pure BEV (bat­tery elec­tric ve­hi­cle) ver­sion, which bodes well for South African buy­ers who usu­ally com­mute longer dis­tances than those in Europe. There con­tin­ues to be a range ex­ten­der ver­sion too, more af­fec­tion­ately known as a Rex, which now fea­tures a range in­creased from 260km to 360km. This is thanks largely to the big­ger 94Ah (Am­pere hours)/33kWh (kilo­watt hour) bat­tery pack. cylin­der turbo en­gine still thumps out an ex­em­plary 170kW and 320Nm, bring­ing the to­tal sys­tem out­put to 275kW, which sees the coupe dis­patch the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.4 sec­onds (4.6 sec­onds for the Road­ster) and both mod­els top out at 250km/h.

The big news for the i8 range though is the ar­rival of the new Road­ster which, sadly, we only got to drive for 10km due to time con­straints at the launch, al­though we did drive it in Mal­lorca in May and you can find our re­view on­line.

The high­lights are that the model is specif­i­cally a twoseater and has a cloth roof that tucks snugly in a crevice just be­hind the cabin. The roof takes only 15 sec­onds to dance up or down and this can be done on the move at up to 50km/h. Also, the Road­ster (R2,329,300) only com­mands a 60kg weight penalty over its coupe (R2,095,200) sib­ling and, while I can­not tell you how the ve­hi­cle per­forms on twist­ing roads with the roof down, it cer­tainly draws more at­ten­tion from by­standers than its tin-top ver­sion and that, alone, will likely make it the most pop­u­lar model of the two.

The i3 now of­fers a claimed range of up to 200km for the pure elec­tric ver­sion and 360km for the range ex­ten­der. Be­low: The i8 Road­ster is a def­i­nite head-turner.

The new BMW i3 gets sub­tle de­sign up­dates in­clud­ing new LED lights. Right: The i8 is fi­nally avail­able as a Road­ster.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.