BMW i8 Roadster launched in Malaysia – RM1.5 million

BMW i8 Roadster launched in Malaysia – RM1.5 million

Just over a month after the facelifted BMW i8 Coupé was launched in Malaysia, it’s now time for the debut of its open-top sibling, the i8 Roadster. The plug-in hybrid sports car is pretty much the same as it has always been, but now indulges the owner in a bit of alfresco driving.

Priced at RM1,508,800 on-the-road without insurance, the i8 Roadster is a whole RM100,000 more expensive than the Coupé. The price includes the new sales and service tax as well as a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, five years’ free service and a two-year tyre warranty.

On the outside, the Roadster retains the futuristic swooping, low-slung design of the Coupé – including the eye-catching dihedral doors – but with the addition of a fabric roof that folds away electrically in just 15 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

You can tell the model apart from the hardtop through silver panels on the C-pillar, equipped with Roadster badging. Only one colour is offered here, and it’s the hero colour E-Copper, with matte grey accents and a matching Accaro interior colour scheme, plus dry carbon interior trim. The wheels are 20-inch W-spoke style 470 alloys, similar to the pre-facelift i8.

BMW i8 Roadster launched in Malaysia – RM1.5 million

As usual, the i8 Roadster features a carbon fibre monocoque over an aluminium frame, which means that despite the fitment of a folding roof mechanism and additional strengthening struts and panels around the axles, the soft-top model is only 60 kg heavier than the hardtop, bringing the total kerb weight to 1,595 kg.

You do lose the token rear seats of the Coupé, instead gaining 92 litres in storage space behind the front seats. That’s quite a lot, considering that the boot behind the mid-mounted engine measures just 88 litres – and there’s no boot to speak of at all in the front.

Speaking of the engine, the Roadster continues the use of a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine from the 318i, here boosted to 231 hp and 320 Nm of torque. All that is sent to the rear wheels through an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.

Like the new Coupé, the Roadster benefits from a new, more powerful electric motor at the front, which produces 12 hp more at 143 hp and continues to be paired to a two-speed gearbox. Total system output now stands at 374 hp, enabling the car to sprint to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds (0.2 seconds slower than the Coupé).

BMW i8 Roadster launched in Malaysia – RM1.5 million

The battery is also more energy dense with an increased cell capacity (34 Ah, up from 20 Ah) and higher gross energy capacity (11.6 kWh, up from 7.1 kWh). As a result, all-electric range has seen a 50% jump over the previous i8, from 35 km to 53 km. Fuel consumption is rated at 2.0 litres per 100 km on the NEDC cycle.

The i8 Roadster is equipped with a 3.6 kW onboard charger, so charging the car to full takes under three hours through a 16-ampere/230-volt outlet. With a 10-ampere/230-volt domestic power socket, this increases to under four and a half hours.

In terms of kit, the Roadster is identical to the Coupé and incorporates LED headlights with high beam assist, keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable seats with driver’s side memory, a head-up display, dual-zone auto climate control and a 360-degree camera.

In terms of infotainment, the Roadster gets a Professional navigation system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen and a 600-watt Harman Kardon surround sound system. Safety-wise, the Driving Assistant system with Collision and Pedestrian Warning and City Braking (autonomous emergency braking) is standard.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • Petoron Sagu on Sep 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Just looking….. Not into my capability…. Good luck to Malaysian richmen….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Pilihanraya Kalah Teruk on Sep 19, 2018 at 8:08 am

      See how people are being conned. Engine from a 318i which cost RM160k. (2nd hand can get RM80k for 2015 model)

      Now you pay RM1.5 million for this car.

      Remember, the engine is 90% of a car. So, for you to pay from RM160k to RM1.5 million……no logic

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6
      • hassan on Sep 22, 2018 at 2:03 am

        Mahal because of using Toyota’s Aisin 6 speed gearbox perhap? Haha

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Same cc yet one cylinder less than my saved fuel & roadking Civic 1.5TCP… huhuhuh

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13
    • johnnas on Sep 18, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Another delusional character just like Ben Yap.
      Civic 1.5 Turbo is just Honda’s super efficient combustion product. Having the ‘Turbo’ monicker doesn’t make it any extraordinarily fast or a road king in ur case. Oh my goodness…it is fast but certainly not the way u looked at it. Furthermore, it is a distant relative of the Civic Type R, not siblings like in the 90s or while u were still suckling.
      Oh my goodness kids nowadays. taking out their daddies’ cars/sponsored cars for a spin and recites brochures like they are God-like.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
  • rightwinger on Sep 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    some thing is wrong with the ringgit. evryone else in the world can afford this car, they say its dirt cheap. even beggars use it to go to toilet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4
    • johnnas on Sep 18, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      no, something is wrong with u! In other countries, this silly car is just as expensive as any other exotics.
      I’m curious, who are they saying its dirt cheap?
      Did u get lost here while searching for fap material, kiddo?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • Bro. Rightwinger was just being sarcastic. If u see previous articles, u will know who the fella that usually post the crap that Rightwinger was referring to.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Dun encourage him bro. Let him Rest in Piece.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • It does looks off when the body colour is nearly same with seat colour.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Burning Motorist Wallet on Sep 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    South Korean will definitely stay away from this fiery brand

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Nocturnal Animals (Real User) on Sep 18, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    What an ugly car….it looks like Kia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • eeeriz on Sep 18, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    BMW, why no i3 in Malaysia? Have seen it a lot in London and am sure will be a hit in M’sia too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Rakyat Malaysia on Sep 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

      They scared i3 owners will be eligible to get petrol subsidy based on their plan. Imagine i3 and Axia and kapcai owners getting the same benefits. How will this reflect on their ill-thought out policies?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Rakyat Malaysia on Sep 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      What I mean is, the reason why BMW Malaysia might not have been allowed to sell i3 here.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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